AFTER delays due to problems with the paperwork, Worthing Hospital has now been given trauma status.
It had been hoped the hospital would be awarded trauma status in April, along with St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. But the Department of Health, which asked to see more paperwork, finally made it a trauma unit on Friday.
The new networks are designed around regional major trauma centres, which specialise in treating people who have suffered potentially life-threatening major trauma, such as serious head or internal injuries sustained in a road traffic accident. The major centre in the Sussex network is the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.
Trauma units, like Worthing, provide emergency care for all but the very most seriously-injured and have to be capable of treating these patients as well if it is not possible to get them to the major trauma centre within 45 minutes or they need to be stabilised quickly.
They also provide ongoing treatment and rehabilitation for patients once they have been discharged from the major centre, enabling them to access the services they need much closer to home.
To gain trauma unit status, the trust had to demonstrate its hospitals’ ability to handle these serious emergency cases, both in terms of the facilities and support services available and the expertise of their clinical staff.
Dr Amanda Wellesley, Western Sussex Hospitals’ lead clinician for accident and emergency, said: “We have shown the network we can provide high-quality care across the trust for patients who have sustained trauma.
“Gaining this status is a great vote of confidence in the quality of care we provide and will mean more patients can be cared for closer to home.”