Hospital to launch board game

A SUFFOLK hospital has created a board game which puts players at the centre of a medical drama - and now plans to sell the creation to raise vital cash for the debt-hit health service.

A SUFFOLK hospital has created a board game which puts players at the centre of a medical drama - and now plans to sell the creation to raise vital cash for the debt-hit health service.

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust in Bury St Edmunds has developed its own board game called Majax which puts players through a life-like experience of an ongoing major incident.

Paul Thacker, clinical support services directorate support manager, who helped create the game, said: “It really does work. When you watch people going through the game, it is as if they are really a part of an incident.

“It also gives people who may not be in the thick of a real major incident an understanding of where they fit in and what would be happening in the hospital control centre.


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“We have written a fair number of scenarios, but we can tailor-make them for any trust we are visiting.

“Whenever it is played it tests the trust's plans. Problems can be brought to light and corrected quickly, instead of finding holes in the middle of a real major incident response.”

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Mr Thacker and colleagues Mark Balaam and Jacqui Grimwood of the trust came up with the desktop training aid and have worked with the National Performance Advisory Group (NPAG) to help market and promote it.

Mr Balaam, Head of Planning and Performance, said: “Now we hope to be able to make a little money for the trust. The trust has given us the support to carry this idea forward.

“The feedback we have had is that it is not just a useful tool for acute hospitals, but also for contingency planning with emergency services, GP surgeries, dentists and walk-in centres.”

The game works with a round board fixed to a table, which has key areas such as the major treatment area, operating theatres, a recovery room, and a staff holding area.

A major incident is reported to a major incident controller who starts the game along with a deputy incident controller, director of facilities, operational manager, and a clerical officer.

Various events such as staff leaving work and accident casualties coming into the hospital with no space available are given to the team, who aim to get all casualties from the incident treated.

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