A network of 22 new major trauma centres will open across England.
These centres will work alongside local hospital trauma units and provide round-the-clock services for seriously injured patients such as those with head injuries, stab wounds or have been in a car accident.
Previously, patients who suffered major trauma have been taken to the nearest hospital, regardless of whether it had the skills, facilities or equipment to deal with such serious injuries. Patients often have to be transferred, causing treatment delays.
The new network means ambulances will take seriously injured patients directly to a specialist centre where they will be assessed rapidly and treated by a full specialist trauma team. Patients who have suffered a severe injury often need complex reconstructive surgery and multi-disciplinary care involving orthopaedics, neurosurgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.
Studies have shown that major trauma centres with dedicated personnel and specialist equipment save more lives and reduce the risk of serious disability. The system relies on a ‘hub’ - a major trauma centre - working with a series of local trauma units. The major trauma centres operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are staffed by consultant-led specialist teams with access to good diagnostic and treatment facilities.
Furthermore, from April, every major trauma patient will be given a rehabilitation prescription which describes their recovery plan in detail.
Professor Keith Willett, national clinical director for trauma care at the Department of Health, said: “Thanks to the advances in medicine and technology, patients are now able to survive horrific injuries that previously would have killed them. This is down to the very advanced medical skills that are available in a range of specialties in certain major centres in the NHS. This expertise must be available for all patients, regardless of where they have been injured. At the accident scene the exact injuries are rarely known.
“That is why we have introduced the major trauma networks, which should save up to 600 lives a year. This new system is a great example of the difference that can be made to patients’ lives by having all the expertise, experience and equipment in one place.”
There are approximately 20,000 major trauma cases in England every year. It has been estimated by the National Audit Office that between 450 and 600 lives could be saved per year across England.
“Trauma patients will have better access to highly-skilled and experienced trauma clinicians and the most advanced treatments in the world,” said Dr James Mapstone, clinical director of acute care for NHS South of England.
“A huge amount of work has gone into developing this new model of care. All the ambulance services in the south have carried out enhanced training of their staff so they can take major trauma patients straight to the nearest major trauma centre.”
Local trauma units will treat less serious injuries such as fractures and minor head injuries.
The 22 Major Trauma Centres are:
• Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals, Bristol (North Bristol NHS Trust)
• James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough (South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford (Oxford Radcliffe University Hospital NHS Trust)
• Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds (The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)
• Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham (Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust)
• Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle (The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• Southampton General Hospital, Southampton (University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust)
• Derriford Hospital, Plymouth (Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust)
• Hull Royal Infirmary (Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust)
• Northern General Hospital, Sheffield (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust)
• Royal Preston Hospital, Preston (Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton (Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust)
• University Hospital Coventry (University Hospitals Coventry Warwickshire NHS Trust)
• University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust Stoke on Trent
• Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool
• Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
• Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester (Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
• Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield (Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust)
• Manchester collaborative Major Trauma Centre
a. Salford Royal NHS Trust
b. Manchester Royal Infirmary
c. University Hospital South Manchester
• Liverpool Collaborative Major Trauma Centre
a. Aintree University Hospital
b. Walton Centre
c. Royal Liverpool University Hospital