Physios join UK’s first emergency rehabilitation team

Physiotherapists were among 10 healthcare professionals who trained to form the UK’s first World Health Organization-accredited emergency medical team specialising in rehabilitation.


Physios were among the healthcare professionals to take part in the mock disaster. Photo: Phil Sheppard

Together with occupational therapists, nurses and a doctor, the four physios qualified after a full field training exercise in rehabilitation. The team could be deployed in the UK, but more likely overseas.

The event this winter was organised by Handicap International. It included the first large-scale simulation of a new field hospital that can be deployed and operational with 72 hours of a disaster.

About 20 physiotherapy students from St George’s University, London, were among those who volunteered to play the part of patients with a range of injuries.

The UK emergency medical team is well established, but Handicap International had been working to develop the rehabilitation component since 2013.

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