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Changes in NHS Major Incident management and their relevance to the Defence Medical Services
  1. Ian Gurney1,2,
  2. S Horne1,2 and
  3. C Wright1,3
  1. 1 Academic Department Military Emergency Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, UK
  3. 3 Emergency Department, St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lt Col Ian Gurney, Emergency Department, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Plymouth, PL6 8DH, UK; i.gurney{at}


High-profile Major Incidents in the UK civilian setting in the last few years have appropriately raised awareness of the principles and frameworks involved in the design of reliable response systems. The introduction of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles in tandem with increased investment in Major Incident Planning has supported practitioners to successfully respond to high numbers of incidents.

Defence Medical Services personnel are increasingly being asked to deploy to resource-limited 'contingency' settings where much of the established guidance relating to Major Incident response requires reconsideration and modification in the face of severely constrained space, manpower and equipment.

This editorial seeks to review contemporary theories and principles of Major Incident response and discuss how military medical personnel may need to adapt these to address the various Major Incident challenges that they may face on operations.

  • major incident
  • emergency preparedness
  • jesip
  • deployment
  • military medicine

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  • Contributors All authors contributed fully to the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public,commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.