Patients with the most serious of injuries in Greater Manchester will have a better chance of survival and reduced disability thanks to a new life saving service launched today, 22 May 2012.
A new Major Trauma Network has been established which will mean all patients unlucky enough to have life threatening injuries will have access to rapid assessment, treatment and rehabilitation which is expected to save 20 lives every year. In order to minimise long lasting harm to patients it is important that they have access to the very best skills that the NHS can offer.
The changes will affect only a small number of patients with the most seriously life threatening injuries, about 450 cases per year in Greater Manchester. There will be no change to the service for the vast majority of A&E cases which will continue to be dealt with at local departments.
The Clinical Lead of the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network, Dr Chris Brookes said;
"Major trauma is life threatening or life changing serious physical injury, which typically involves more than one injury. This might include traumatic injury requiring amputation of a limb, severe knife and gunshot wounds, major head injury, multiple injuries to different parts of the body, spinal injury and severe burns. In order to minimise longlasting harm to patients it is important that they have rapid access to the very best skills that the NHS can offer.
"Before the Network was established patients would be taken to their nearest hospital, after which they may have been transferred to a more specialist site causing delays. Now the NHS is working together to get these seriously injured patients to the best possible care quickly. This involves the ambulance service working together with the units and the three sites that make up the Major Trauma Centre - this collaboration will quite simply save more lives and allow a better quality of life for survivors."
The Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network will work across a range of NHS organisations operating from the moment a 999 call comes in to the time, maybe months later, when a patient returns home.
The Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network consists of three Major Trauma Centres for adults and children, supported by three Trauma Units. The Major Trauma Centres are:
- Manchester Royal Infirmary (adults) and Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital (children), Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Wythenshawe Hospital (University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust)
- Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
The Major Trauma Centres have significantly enhanced their extensive clinical services to ensure that their sites are staffed by specialist trauma teams with access to the best diagnostic and treatment facilities.
The Major Trauma Centres will each play to their strengths so that patients will be treated by the hospital that specialises in that injury. For example, patients with head injury will be taken to Salford Royal, patients with major burns will be taken to Wythenshawe and patients with penetrating injuries will be taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary. Children with major trauma will be transferred to the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital.
The Major Trauma Centres will be supported by three Trauma Units should a seriously injured adult or child be unable to be transferred safely directly from the accident scene to the appropriate Major Trauma Centre. The designated Trauma Units are:
- Royal Oldham Hospital
- Stepping Hill
- The Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.
The changes in Greater Manchester will be implemented over a phased six month period between April and October 2012. Initially the service will be available from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday. Later in the year this will be extended to 8am until 8pm seven days a week, and in time the service will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mr Hiren Patel, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Any patient who has suffered major trauma will be speedily received by an awaiting team of trauma experts; this new approach will save lives and is an essential development for the region.
“We are the regional centre for Neurosciences, and as part of the collaborative Salford Royal will provide specialist care to major trauma patients who have severe head or spinal injuries.
“We will also provide post operative and rehabilitation care by multi-disciplinary teams in facilities that have been designed specifically for these types of patients.
“Over the next few months we will continue to work closely with all hospitals within the region to ensure all patients across the area are provided with first class trauma response and care.”
Mr Brendan Ryan, University Hospital of South Manchester's Medical Director and Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said:
"The establishment of a Major Trauma Network for Greater Manchester will lead to better, faster treatment for those people with very complex and life threatening injuries. Ultimately, not only will this mean more lives being saved, but also better outcomes for people recovering from life-changing injuries. UHSM is a designated receiving centre for the North West Air Ambulance. In addition to our comprehensive Trauma Team response involving the Emergency Department, Critical Care, Surgery, Radiology and Orthopaedics, we have specialist services on site for Interventional Radiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and our Burns and Plastic Surgery Centre. This means we are able to make a major contribution to the Trauma Network and provide the very best outcomes for these patients."
Dr Jane Eddleston, Chair of the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network Clinical Effectiveness Committee and Clinical Director of Critical Care at Manchester Royal Infirmary, said: “We are proud to play a major role in the new trauma service for Greater Manchester. The location of our Major Trauma Centres means that the majority of people in Greater Manchester will be able to access specialist trauma services within 20 minutes travelling time.
“All children's major trauma will be dealt with on the Central Manchester site at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital which has a comprehensive range of services. Adult major trauma patients will be treated at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Salford Royal or Wythenshawe Hospital depending on the patient's needs.”
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) Greater Manchester Head of Service, Ged Blezard said;
‘The way ambulance services operate now has changed tremendously over the years, as clinical skills advance, we learn more about emergency and trauma treatment and hospitals take on specialist status for various conditions.
‘The ‘scoop and run’ days, where ambulance crews just picked up a patient and drove as quickly as possible to the nearest hospital have long gone. Treatment now begins before the patient is even moved into an ambulance and Paramedic crews can perform procedures and administer drugs that not that long ago, could only happen in hospitals.
‘A major change which patients and their relatives will experience is which hospital they are taken to. While many are still taken to their nearest accident and emergency department, some will be taken to specialist centres which, although may be further away, can offer the best chance of survival due to the clinical skills and practices based in that centre.
‘The world of medicine is a fast moving one and we are constantly learning. As ambulance services are operating differently to how they did 20 years ago, it is likely that in 20 years time, procedures and treatments will have changed again. However they may change, and however we operate, it is patients and their care which is at the heart of what we do."