22 new 24/7 lifesaving centres to open

Tuesday, 08 May, 2012

Trauma network announced

A network of 22 new centres specializing in treating patients who suffer from major trauma was announced last month.

The new network means ambulances will take seriously injured patients directly to a specialist centre where they will be assessed immediately and treated by a full specialist trauma team. Patients who have suffered a severe injury often need complex reconstructive surgery and care from many professionals, and so the trauma team includes orthopaedics, neurosurgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.

A network of local trauma units, responsible for treating less serious injuries such as fractures and minor head injuries, will support each Major Trauma Centre. Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley said: "For far too long, people have needlessly died from major trauma injuries because some local hospitals were not equipped with the right facilities or specialist
teams to treat patients with life threatening injuries quickly.

"I have always said that patients should be at the heart of the NHS and that services should be arranged around their needs, not how hospitals are organised. Seriously injured patients need to be assessed and treated quickly. With 22 new trauma centres now opening across
England staffed with a full specialist trauma team, we hope to save up to 600 lives a year."

Many patients need a personalised rehabilitation programme taking many months to help them return to an active life. Since the beginning of April, every major trauma patient will be given a rehabilitation prescription, which describes their recovery plan in detail.

Studies have shown that major trauma centres with dedicated personnel and specialist equipment save more lives and reduce the risk of serious disability. For example, a patient who has suffered a serious head injury can receive a CT scan within 30 minutes, allowing doctors to respond quickly to reduce the risk of brain damage. It is hoped that the
new networks will save up to 600 lives a year by having all the expertise, experience and equipment in one place.

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