Staffing Preparation for Operation Overlord

14th June 1944 Report given by Matron M Goodrich.

The preparation and foresight needed for this Emergency was what the Hospital worked for over some considerable period of time.

  • The Casualty Reception Station was worked by the Medical Officers, 3 Sisters and 5 VAD’s in two watches of 12 hours each. The cases were received and examined and passed quickly to either the Resuscitation Centre, Ward, or Operating Theatre.
  • The Resuscitation Centre’s, C1. And F1 were worked by staff consisting of 1 Medical Officer, 3 Sister and 4 VAD’s in two watches of 12 hours each. The work in each was practically continuous and in addition to the Resuscitation the cases needed considerable nursing. The work was so heavy that each team was increased by the addition of one sister and one VAD.
  • The Operating Theatre Sisters and nurses were detailed for their duties and made up into teams well in advance. It was decided to allocate 1 Sister and 2 VAD’s to each Operating Surgeon and the same people always worked together. One Sister remained as general ‘Overseer’ for both theatres and thus keep things moving as far as dressings and sterilizing went, keeping all stock and equipment up to standard and seeing that the Theatres were always ready to receive the next cases.
  • The Annex was little used and it was found possible for one Sister and one VAD to be detached from the Casualty Receiving Station for work when necessary.
  • 28 Wards were prepared to receive cases.
  • It was estimated that the wards receiving casualties would need two Sisters and four VADs on Day Duty and one Sister and two VAD’s on Night Duty. This proved to be correct. The number of Sisters available was 78. It was therefore necessary to request the loan of additional sisters to bring the number up to 90.
  • In addition to the essential nursing the increased number of injections of Penicillin, Anti-Gas Gangrene serum, Plasma, Oxygen and Morphia made it absolutely necessary to have two Sisters on each ward, as this work fully occupied one Sister.
  • The number of VAD nursing members available for duty on the 6th June was 140.

The following was the staff state during the emergency:

Nursing Sisters
VAD Nursing Members
9.   Operating Theatre/Plaster Room   
12. Casualty Reception Station 
14. Resuscitation Wards    
37. Day Duty Wards        
18  Night Duty Wards 31.
Total    90   

It was necessary to request the loan of 18 VAD Nursing members from other local establishments in the command.

The above numbers did not meet the requirements of staff necessary for Outside Duties i.e. Dispensary, Laundry and Laboratory.

Patient numbers from 6th – 11th June

Admissions (Battle)     300
Operations        273
Deaths           12

M Goodrich

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