Scottish trauma care 'needs major rethink'
Published: 18th May 2012 01:37:28
Scotland is falling behind other parts of the world in its provision of care for victims of major trauma, according to a new report.
The report found mortality for severely injured patients who are alive when they reach hospital is 40% higher in the UK than in North America.
This has led to a shift in healthcare policy in England, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh study said.
But the situation in Scotland has not yet been addressed, it added.
Major trauma is classed as injuries which could potentially result in permanent disability or death.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 45, and is responsible for about 1,300 deaths a year in Scotland.
It is also the commonest cause of death in children, and is responsible for more deaths in children and adolescents than all other causes combined.
The report recommended the development of a trauma system across Scotland which focused on reducing disability as well as deaths.
Treatment of major trauma would be carried out at a small number of dedicated centres serving a wide geographic area.
Major trauma patients are sent for treatment at the nearest local hospitals which may not have access to all the resources and specialisms needed”
These centres would have access to all the necessary specialties on one site, and would be fully resourced with equipment and medical staff to deal with major trauma.
Less severe cases could be dealt with in less specialised trauma centres, which would have a more regional focus and an intake from the local catchment area.
Ian Ritchie, the Royal College's vice-president and a member of the working team that compiled the report, said trauma care in Scotland was generally of a "very high standard".
He added: "However we can do better for those people who are very seriously injured. This report represents the beginning of a process which we hope will ultimately provide even better services for our patients in Scotland.
"The model recommended by the report is equivalent to that in North America and the one being adopted in England.
"Major trauma treatment requires a precise set of skills and knowledge; it also needs to pull expertise from a wide range of specialties and resources.
"Under the current system in Scotland, major trauma patients are sent for treatment at the nearest local hospitals which may not have access to all the resources and specialisms needed."
In the past it had been thought that the system recommended in the report would not work in Scotland, Mr Ritchie - a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital - added.
This was mainly because the country's terrain, coupled with the way communities are dispersed, which could mean longer journey times for patients needing to reach specialist care.
However, it is now believed that, as long as the patient is stabilised, the length of the journey to final treatment is not as crucial as once thought.
"It is more important that the patient is delivered as soon as possible to a hospital and a team which is fully equipped to deal with the unique requirements of major trauma patients," Mr Ritchie said.
"If necessary, under the new system, major trauma patients could be taken to a local trauma unit to be stabilised but it would be crucial they were then transferred to a major trauma centre as soon as possible.
"Experience suggests that major trauma patients and their families would accept a longer journey in the knowledge that they are in the best place and receiving the best care available."
The report also stressed that more research, discussion and consultation was essential to analyse further the requirements and to determine the exact configuration of any resulting new system.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Scottish trauma care 'needs major rethink' [Online] (Updated 18th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429347/Scottish-trauma-care-needs-major-rethink [Accessed 7th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
A man in his 40s has been injured during what is believed to have been an attempted armed robbery in County Down.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone technology for cars at the Geneva Motor Show.
There is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com