26/03/2012 - Permalink

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital playing a key part in new regional trauma network

Related topics: Community / Health

More lives are expected to be saved by a new trauma care network that was launched across the West Midlands today (Monday 26 March 2012). 

The arrangements will see hospitals across the region working together to provide the best care for people with the most complex and serious injuries.  The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) has a vital role in this new network as a Trauma Unit, working closely with the Major Trauma centres in Stoke and Birmingham. 

Major trauma patients are usually helped by a 999 emergency ambulance and are taken to the nearest hospital emergency department for treatment, although many will transfer patients with major trauma onto a more specialised centre. 

Now, patients can be taken directly to a major trauma centre if they require the most urgent specialist care, or to a trauma unit where they will be received by a consultant-led team for resuscitation, and then either treated there or transferred as their condition dictates. 

Adam Cairns, chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“The aim of the network is to make sure people are getting the right care in the right place at the right time in an emergency.  The network brings together all of the organisations providing life-saving care for patients to improve the way patients are treated from the moment the emergency is reported.  As a designated Trauma Unit, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will play a key role in this system, and make sure vital the full range of emergency services remain available for people in Shropshire when they need it.”

The launch has also been welcomed by Councillor Gerald Dakin, Chair of Shropshire Council’s Healthy Communities Scrutiny Committee, who said:

“Having a Major Trauma Unit in Shropshire is a vital and valuable new resource for Shropshire’s emergency healthcare.  It is extremely important that people receive the right services they need, in the right place, and I am sure our residents will be reassured that we now have state-of-the-art facility based in our county.” 

Dr Mike Innes, Chair of the Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“This is really good news for local people in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire.  By having a dedicated trauma unit linked to extra care available in the larger centres, we can ensure that people have access to the treatment and expertise that they need as quickly as possible.” 

Dr Leigh Griffin, Managing Director of NHS Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire County PCT, said:

“The designation of the trauma unit in Shropshire will help ensure that local people can be seen closer to home without having to go out of county for treatment.  This unit is a good example of how the reconfiguration of our local hospitals can ensure we do not lose any more services to outside the county.” 

The West Midlands is the first region in England to go live with its Trauma Care System, following London’s launch in April 2010. 

These highly skilled networks will:

  • Ensure that patients who suffer major trauma get the right treatment, in the right place, with the right specialist staff and equipment as quickly as possible
  • Save more lives
  • Reduce disabilities
  • Aid speedier recovery through early access to specialist services including rehabilitation
  • Help severely injured patients to return to a life that is normal or as near normal as possible. 

Eamonn Kelly, Chair of the Programme Board and Chief Executive of West Mercia Cluster of PCTs, which led the implementation, said:

“This is a major achievement.  The NHS in the West Midlands has come together to work towards improving the care of their patients.  I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and support, and look forward to the continuing development and improvement in these specialist services.  Thanks to the amazing clinical input, we know that the knowledge and skills of all of the NHS staff involved is vitally important in the efforts to save people’s lives.”

Case study

A 17-year-old girl praises the NHS in the West Midlands for showing how working together can improve outcomes for patients: 

Grace Currie has thanked the NHS in the West Midlands for saving her life as the West Midlands Trauma Care System goes live. 

Grace Currie is a young person who had need of the specialist services provided at University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) following her accident in September 2010.   Grace was 17 years old at the time she was hit by a car.  She was initially taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and because she had a severe traumatic brain injury she had to be transferred to UHNS’ Multiple Injuries Unit for treatment.  She was in UHNS until December 2010, and then transferred to the Haywood Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent which provides specialist rehabilitation services.  She is now home, and continues to receive care and support through her rehabilitation programme. 

Talking about her care, Grace’s father Graeme said:

“Our thanks go to all the hospital staff who have been involved in Grace’s care.  What was identified as extremely important was Grace’s rehabilitation needs, even while she was still in intensive care.  Rehabilitation was started during the first week when she was still in a coma, with treatments to aid and assist her future walking.  This is such an amazing thing; not only were the doctors and nurses working 24 hours a day to save her life, they were also treating her in ways that would support her recovery in future as she learns to walk again.” 

When asked what the hospital staff did for her – Grace replied: “saved my life”.