North Bristol NHS Trust becomes Major Trauma Centre for Severn region

From April 2 2012, North Bristol NHS Trust will become the Major Trauma Centre for the Severn Major Trauma Network in the South West.

This will be based initially at Frenchay Hospital but the designation will transfer to Southmead when services move in 2014.

After the project was piloted in London two years ago, the Department of Health set up a national project to created trauma networks across England. The rest of England will also go live on April 2.

Each trauma network consists of a one major trauma centre and a number of trauma units, supported by ambulance service providers

The Severn Major Trauma Network covers the former Avon area as well as parts of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. North Bristol NHS Trust will be the Major Trauma Centre for this region.

In addition there will be six trauma units within the Severn Network: UH Bristol, Royal United Hospital Bath, Musgrove Park in Taunton, Yeovil, Great Western Hospital in Swindon and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Major trauma is multiple, life threatening or life changing serious physical injuries.

These might include injuries such as:

  • Severe head injury
  • Multiple fractures
  • Severe knife or gunshot wounds

A Major Trauma Centre is a specialist hospital providing trauma care services.

It manages all types of injuries, providing consultant-level care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The major trauma centre takes responsibility for the care of all patients with major trauma in the area covered by the network and will mean that those patients with the most serious of injuries will be brought directly or via a trauma unit to the Major Trauma Centre for treatment.

From information obtained from the National Trauma Audit and Research Network to which each hospital submits data, we know that each year there are approximately 600 patients within the Network who are seriously injured.

At the moment NBT looks after approximately half of these and over the next few years this percentage will rise.

Professor David Lockey, Clinical Director for the Network, is based at Frenchay. He said: “North Bristol NHS Trust was chosen as we already provide the type of care that these patients need through our orthopaedic, neurosurgical, plastic surgery, general surgery, critical care teams and other supporting services.

“The visiting panel who assessed and selected North Bristol to be the major trauma centre were impressed both with the existing services and in particular with the enthusiasm and ability of the staff to provide the additional services that will be needed.”

Dr Ben Walton, Lead Consultant for the Major Trauma Centre, said: “We will be able to influence the way trauma patients are looked after in the region

“We already provide excellent care for this patient group in NBT and we hope that by treating more of these patients at North Bristol NHS Trust our skills in relation to looking after them will increase and, as a result, the clinical outcomes for this patient group will continue to improve.

“We believe this will also improve the care of other patient groups within the Trust and the Network by ensuring more efficient patient pathways are implemented.”