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Using nominal group technique to identify the planning considerations for UK Armed Forces medical personnel delivering defence engagement first aid training activities
  1. Mark Anthony Middleton1 and
  2. J Whitaker1,2,3,4
  1. 1Centre for Defence Engagement, Defence Medical Services, Lichfield, UK
  2. 2Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4School of Life Course and Population Sciences, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr J Whitaker, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, B15 2WB, UK; j.whitaker{at}


Introduction Defence Medical Services personnel regularly deploy overseas to deliver training activities as part of defence engagement (DE) to positively influence partners and others. There remains scope for medical planners to enhance our understanding of how to optimally use medical staff and assets for DE. We aimed to develop a tool to improve planning for DE activities delivering first aid training.

Methods We used nominal group technique to conduct a focus group with UK experts in planning first aid training DE activities to identify and prioritise important planning considerations within a conceptual framework based on the Defence Lines of Development. We validated and refined this framework with international experts from partner nation militaries to help strengthen the final planning tool.

Results We developed a detailed tool covering training curriculum and logistical and infrastructure requirements to deliver safe and effective DE training activities. First aid training engagement priorities include being tailored to the training audience and in harmony with the national or military healthcare services of that country. Messaging around the women, peace and security agenda should be integrated into training packages at conception to be effective.

Conclusions We propose a planning tool to aid in designing first aid training that considers the necessary components to support meaningful education and effective engagement in support of UK’s strategic goals. We welcome the use of and feedback on this tool and its impact to those planning first aid training activities as part of DE operations.

  • International health services

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors MAM conceived of the project, undertook the data collection and analysis, and wrote the first draft. JW provided critical review of the analysis and substantial edits to the manuscript. MAM acts as guarantor for this study.

  • 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.

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

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.