A hospital charity in London is aiming to raise £1m to fund trauma research and care, including nurse-led projects, in the wake of the rising levels of knife crime in the capital.
The Barts Charity highlighted that trauma was the greatest killer of people under 40, with 46 people dying from serious injury daily in the UK.
“We want to achieve a gold standard of care for trauma patients”
Despite this startling statistic, trauma research receives minimal funding, according to charity, which raises money for Barts Health NHS Trust in East London.
It noted that any serious physical injury to the body was classified as trauma, and its usual causes in the UK were road traffic collisions, falls, violence, and self-harm.
Research has already succeeded in halving the number of deaths in critical trauma patients over the last 10 years, said Karim Brohi, professor of trauma sciences at Queen Mary University of London.
However, the growing number of trauma cases each year in London shows the continued need for research into this health issue, he said.
“It’s only thanks to the incredible care that I received at the Royal London Hospital that I am still here”
This need has led the Barts Charity to begin their Trauma Appeal, raising money to fund research at the Royal London Hospital and Queen Mary University’s Centre for Trauma Sciences.
Not only is the charity funding research at Queen Mary’s University, it is also funding nurse-led projects to improve the quality of care for patients at the trust.
These projects are seeking to make the care and recovery of patients as smooth as possible, because of the often sudden and distressing nature of trauma injuries.
For example, nurse Bex Boxall has previously received funding and support to create a “trauma passport”.
It stores all the patient’s information in one place, as well as answers to common questions, help for families and provides a space to record thoughts and feelings throughout the rehabilitation journey.
Ms Boxall said: “We want to achieve a gold standard of care for trauma patients. Trauma is a sudden event for patients and their families and information has to be helpful honest and informative.
“We wanted a place for patients to keep their information for themselves and their relatives that they could then take to their GP, their local hospital or rehabilitation services,” she said.
The appeal’s aim of £1m will fund projects like Ms Boxall’s as well as further research into how to best save the lives of those going through trauma.
In support of the appeal, Dr Brohi said: “There is so much more we need to do to reduce death from trauma and improve the quality of life for those that survive.
“The Barts Charity Trauma Appeal aims to increase awareness of this growing disease and raise vital funds for it,” he said.
The initiative is being backed by Stephen Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, who was stabbed while at his constituency office in London in 2010.
He said: “Traumatic injury such can happen to anyone at any time, and it’s only thanks to the incredible care that I received at the Royal London Hospital that I am still here today.
“With rates of serious injury set to rise, it is more important than ever that we support the vital work of those delivering the research and care that are saving lives every day,” he said.