A major trauma centre, which will save more lives of those seriously injured across the East Midlands, will be created in Nottingham, it has been announced today.
The Queen’s Medical Centre, which is run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), is being designated as the East Midlands major trauma centre which means patients will now get 24/7 access to specialist teams of clinicians, intensive care and brain surgery.
The major trauma centre will form the hub of a new trauma care system for the whole region which will treat people with very serious, multiple injuries like those you would associate with car accidents, serious gun and knife wounds or falling off a horse. It will be supported by a number of trauma units which are being set up at other hospitals around the region that will stabilise patients who need to be transferred on to the major trauma centre or look after less seriously injured patients.
The East Midlands Ambulance Service is also training up its crews to better identify major trauma patients and take them straight to the regional centre or the nearest trauma unit rather than the local emergency department.
Evidence shows that creating a hub and spoke network of a major trauma centre and trauma units supported by the ambulance service can lead to 20% more people with severe injuries being saved every year. Currently around 660 people a year suffer a major trauma injury in the East Midlands.
Peter Homa, Chief Executive of NUH, said: “Becoming the major trauma centre for the East Midlands is a major improvement for patients.
“NUH is uniquely positioned to take on responsibility to provide this vital service for the region as part of this newly-established regional trauma network. We provide some of the country’s leading specialists and have the range of specialist services, such as neurosurgery, required to deliver an excellent major trauma service to patients with serious multiple injuries. This means that the public from across the East Midlands will have rapid access to excellent specialist expertise and facilities that will help to improve patient care and save more lives.”
Adam Brooks, Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Trauma at NUH, said: “Around 20,000 people suffer major trauma each year in England and Wales. NUH’s trauma centre will become the focus for improving the way many of those patients are treated.
“Nottingham’s trauma and emergency care services already have a strong reputation nationally. We are now provided with an opportunity to build on this and develop a leading edge major trauma service providing excellent care to patients who suffer serious injury and give them the very best chances of survival and recovery.
“We treat around 300 major trauma patients a year and by 2015 expect this number to grow threefold to 900 when we reach full capacity as a regional trauma centre. We will take on this new responsibility on a phased basis from April 2012.”
David Farrelly, Deputy Chief Executive for East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “This is very positive news for patients across the East Midlands area and will ensure that patients with serious major trauma are able to access care and treatment in the most appropriate place giving better outcomes.”
Improving major trauma care was identified as a priority by the East Midlands health community in its strategic plan published in 2008. Work to design the new major trauma system of care for the region has been led by local clinicians and the chief executives of all the local primary care trusts, who are responsible for planning and paying for health services. Patients and the public were also given a chance to have their say on how services could be improved through a programme of engagement events which took place around the region.
Chris Boyce, Regional Programme Director for Emergency and Urgent Care, said: “Improving major trauma services has been a priority for the local health community and a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to design the right model of care for our patients. I’m delighted that we have reached this critical stage in the programme where we can announce the location of the regional centre for major trauma. Setting this centre up will improve access to the best specialist care for patients regardless of where in the East Midlands they are injured.”