The Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT) forms an integral part of the NHS response to major, mass casualty and critical incidents, providing a team of medical incident advisors at a range of emergency incidents.
The focus of a MERIT doctor is to undertake the roles of tactical medical advisor (TMA) or operational medical advisor (OMA) under the direction of the strategic medical advisor (SMA). MERIT provides a 24 hour on-call capability across the North West.
The strategic medical advisor is principally responsible for monitoring overall NHS system capacity, ensuring that patient safety throughout the wider Ambulance Trust is maintained at an acceptable level, and ensuring the tactical level has access to the clinical resources it requires.
Tactical Medical Advisors are responsible for casualty distribution, and support to the Tactical and Strategic Ambulance Commanders to transfer patients from the scene into the appropriate medical facilities.
If needed, an additional doctor can also be deployed to the scene of an incident to undertake the role of Operational Medical Advisor advising the incident’s operational commander. The OMA is responsible for coordinating and directing clinical care at a casualty collection point (CCP) or casualty clearing station (CCS) such as Enhanced Pre-Hosptial Care teams.
MERIT doctors derive from a range of backgrounds such as general practice, or a consultant in an appropriate hospital speciality such as emergency medicine, anaesthesia, critical care or a surgical speciality. MERIT Doctors must live in the North West of England and possess a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) Level 8.
MERIT doctors are formally trained and assessed in the performance of the TMA and OMA criteria stated in the NARU National Ambulance Service Command and Control Guidance. As a result, they can advise the on-call operational and tactical commanders to provide direct support to the regional coordination of major, mass casualty and complex incidents.
Annual training and exercising for MERIT doctors includes:
- Face-to-face mandatory training plus online module
- Tactical Medical Advisor training day
- Operational Medical Advisor training day
- Live exercises
- Command training days
- Operational training days with the advanced paramedics
For more information contact [email protected]