Trauma survival rates rise by 50 per cent, according to NHS England

New procedures which see seriously hurt patients taken swiftly to the nearest major hospital are thought to lie behind the improvement

Charlie Cooper
Friday 24 July 2015 01:10
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The chances of surviving a major trauma injury have improved by 50 per cent in the past three years, the NHS in England has said.

New procedures which see seriously hurt patients taken swiftly to the nearest major hospital, rather than to smaller hospitals, even if closer, are thought to lie behind the improvement.

While it cannot be said for certain how many lives the new Regional Trauma Networks have saved, NHS England said that “hundreds” more patients had survived since they were introduced in 2012. Now the technique will be rolled out for cases of heart attack, stroke and aneurysm across 23 “urgent and emergency care networks” throughout England.

The health service has also seen early success with a pilot scheme in which ambulance call handlers are given two extra minutes to determine whether a vehicle should be sent out to people who are calling with serious but non-life threatening problems.

Tests of the system carried out in London and South-west England have led to a decrease in ambulances being dispatched unnecessarily, with no major safety issues, according to figures seen by Sky News.

Neil Le Chavelier, the director of operations for South Western Ambulance Service, said the extra two minutes gave call handlers time to assess if, for example, someone complaining of chest pains was having a heart attack or a suffering from a less serious condition. He added the system freed up ambulances for patients who most needed them.

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