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Scottish ministers allocate £5m to improve trauma care

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The next steps in the delivery of a new network of trauma services across Scotland have been outlined by the Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Launching plans for the Scottish Trauma Network, Ms Sturgeon pledged an additional £5m would be allocated in 2017 to “accelerate progress” on its development.

“Today marks an important day in changing trauma care in Scotland for the better”

Catherine Calderwood

The network will be based around four major trauma centres – in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh – with a view to benefiting around 6,000 seriously injured patients each year. The centres will host dedicated trauma services, including rehabilitation support, to help patients recover more quickly.

A series of key actions for 2017-18 were also set out today in an implementation plan – titled Saving Lives. Giving Life Back – developed by the National Trauma Network Implementation Group and chaired by chief medical officer for Scotland Dr Catherine Calderwood.

They include establishing a Scottish Trauma Network Steering Group from April that will work with the regions to develop and introduce a new model of trauma care from 2017-18 onwards.

In addition, the plans promise a new national ambulance trauma triage tool to support early identification of major trauma, a dedicated trauma desk is to be available 24/7 in Ambulance Control Centre and new trauma equipment and training for all ambulance crews to be rolled out.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Trauma Network will connect and co-ordinate clinical teams across the country – giving patients, particularly those with major trauma, access to better care and rehabilitation support and ensure they get taken to the right place as quickly as possible.

“One of our other key areas of focus is pre-hospital care, ensuring our emergency services can get to any trauma patient quickly and have more advanced skills, training and support to better help patients at the scene and on their way to the most appropriate hospital,” she said.

“It is estimated that this approach could save up to 40 more lives a year,” said Ms Sturgeon during a visit to Ninewells Hospital to meet staff involved in the development of the new trauma network.

“It is estimated that this approach could save up to 40 more lives a year”

Nicola Sturgeon

She added: “We are allocating an extra £5m in 2017-18 to begin to accelerate these improvements, and we will be putting further, significant investment in as we continue to build and fully establish the network over the next few years.”

CMO for Scotland Dr Calderwood said: “Each year in Scotland, around 5,000 people are seriously injured, with around 1,000 cases being defined as ‘major trauma’.

“For each trauma fatality, there are two survivors with serious or permanent disability that will have significant impact on quality of life,” she said. “Today marks an important day in changing trauma care in Scotland for the better.” 

The Scottish government is expected to provide a further update on progress with implementation of the Scottish Trauma Network to the country’s parliament in October.

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