Accident and emergency procedures upgraded on Newmarket training grounds

23rd October 2016 Newmarket
  • Jockey Club Estates unveil initiatives to provide rapid and effective response in the event of medical and veterinary emergencies.
  • Introduction of newly trained Heath Medics and new horse ambulances

Jockey Club Estates announced today the introduction of ‘Heath Medics’, two members of the Newmarket Training Grounds management team who have undergone medical training so that they can attend to injured riders while awaiting the arrival of the Emergency Services.

The initiative forms part of a wider upgrade of the quality and speed of response available in the event of a serious injury to a rider or horse on the Newmarket Training Grounds. In addition to the introduction of Heath Medics, a new and improved equine ambulance, courtesy of a generous donation from the Moller Foundation, is now in operation and the procedures to be followed after an injury to a rider have been reviewed and clarified to help deliver a more effective response.

Two members of Jockey Club Estates staff, Rob Achner and Alex Payne, have undergone the necessary medical training to be classified as ‘First Responders’ and, following an accident on the training grounds where an individual appears to be seriously injured, the Heath Medics will be able to attend to the injured person prior to the arrival at the scene of the Emergency Services.

Nick Patton, Assistant Managing Director of Jockey Club Estates, said:

“The health and safety of the riders and horses that use our facilities is of paramount importance. On a daily basis, there are over 2,500 racehorses exercised on the Newmarket Training Grounds and inevitably, with such numbers, there will sometimes be incidents that require the Emergency Services to be called. On such occasions, and in the potentially critical period between an accident occurring and the arrival of the paramedics, one of our Heath Medics will now be on hand to attend to the injured party and put to use, where appropriate, their training in trauma response.

“It is important for trainers and their staff to understand that the Heath Medics are not a substitute for professional paramedics, nor should they be called upon to assess whether the Emergency Services are needed. Their role is to attend to an injured party while awaiting the arrival of the Emergency Services. As part of our review of procedures we have also provided trainers with postcode details of the various gallops so these can be provided when making the ‘999’ call and which will in turn assist in reducing the response time.

“Following review of procedures earlier this year, we believe the introduction of Heath Medics is the most practical solution to ensuring a rapid response and the appropriate medical attention for injured riders following a serious accident.”

In addition to the improvements in the response to a human medical emergency, two brand new horse ambulances have recently been provided for use on the Newmarket Training Grounds to aid the treatment and recovery of horses that incur an injury while exercising.

The cost of providing the two new Equisave Horse Ambulances has been met by the Moller Foundation.

Nick Patton continued:

“Jockey Club Estates is extremely grateful to the Moller Foundation for their donation and the provision of two new horse ambulances. Despite the quality of the training facilities and our efforts to make them as safe as possible for horse and rider, unfortunately there are occasions when horses, like any athlete in training, are injured. At such times, the horse ambulance performs a vital role in transporting horses so they can receive treatment at one of the outstanding veterinary facilities in the Newmarket area.”

David Dugdale, MRCVS, from the Newmarket Equine Hospital (NEH), added:

“Today’s equine ambulances are an essential part of the service that Jockey Club Estates provides the racing community. The latest technology allows the loading of injured horses with minimal stress or impact leading to their safe transport to one of the local equine veterinary hospitals. Such a prompt response and safe loading now means that the majority of fractures can be repaired, thereby enabling their athletic careers to continue after injury.”

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