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Delivering Care In Remote Locations

Delivering optimum care will always be the primary objective to minimise suffering and maximise survival for all patients when they require assistance. This also applies to working remotely but there are several factors that need to be considered to ensure that the treatment is applied successfully.


In a recent episode of our podcast, TSG Talk, senior partner Colin Smart discussed this topic in great depth with Dr Bob Mark, who has vast experience working in remote locations.

The importance of effective communication

Being able to deliver care in a remote setting can pose challenges. Despite advances in telemedicine, effective communication is one of the biggest challenges that comes with remote care. As Dr Bob Mark explains below;

The medics have got to be able to communicate in an orderly structured fashion, which can be a really difficult skill to learn. It's often difficult to present a patient without bouncing around all over the place. That was one of the things I always found difficult.”

The Doctor receiving the information must understand the parameters that that Medic is working within and ensure that any proposed actions are compatible to where they are.

Recurring issues when delivering remote care;

A wide range of skills is essential for delivering remote care, Medic’s can be required to treat patients for a variety of injuries/ailments such as minor illnesses, injuries, mental health, and occupational health. Your emergency response skills will also have to be kept up to date, often within a scenario where you are not using them on a regular basis.

“In most remote areas, it's going to be minor illness, minor injuries, mental health problems, occupational health. So, you've got to have a very broad range of skills, but you've got to keep up your emergency skills because obviously that's an acutely time critical lifesaving area.

Prevention of illness and injury is of so much importance in remote areas so that you don't end up with the difficulties of major illness or injury caused by lack of preparation and awareness of the environment you are operating in.

The impact of multiple casualties in remote areas

Multiple casualties in remote areas pose greater challenges than in a typical setting, they can potentially outnumber your resources at an early stage. Therefore, it’s vital to have a detailed plan of action that involves the safe care and evacuation of all patients.

“In a remote area, you have almost by definition, a very small medical resource. In terms of people and equipment, you don't need many casualties before your system is overloaded. A multiple casualty incident in the remote area isn't necessarily the sort of 10s or 20s you might think about in a conventional environment. There you've got lots of ambulances, lots of hospitals, you can spread the load, you've got lots of staff. It might well just be you and your first aid team. You can be rapidly overwhelmed by a much smaller number of serious casualties. You've got to plan for that.”

Everyone in your medical team has an important part to play in ensuring that the best solution can be provided to those in need of care. This will mean coming up with ideas for what course of action to take and justifying why this is effective.

Tips for remote deployment

Although there are many factors that go into providing care, especially in remote locations, you should always have at the forefront of your mind that the patient must always come first.

“First and obvious I suppose is, don't lose sight of the patient always comes first. There's so much going on and being dragged in so many different directions. But the patient comes first. That's your principal priority.”

Understanding your location and how to get from point A to point B is crucial so that you can quickly be on hand to provide assistance nearby, as well as always communicating in order to do your role to the best standards for the benefit of the patient.

“Second thing I would suggest would be don't be a stranger. You need to know the area that you're working in. You need to know where things are. You need to know how to get around. How to get to the locations where your help might be required. You need to know the people that you’re working with and what jobs those people actually do and how those jobs can impact on their health.”

Find out more

Click here to listen to the full TSG Talk episode with Dr Bob Mark, and to find out more about our life-saving solutions then please contact TSG Associates at 01422 557841 or email us at

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