Getting patients with major trauma to the right hospital quicker


Released 27/03/17

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse say hundreds will benefit from a new major trauma policy which will see patients taken to the most appropriate hospital more quickly.

“The Government is focused on getting patients the care they need when they need it. As part of the wider work programme we’re rolling out the ‘Major trauma out of hospital destination policy’ from Monday,” says Dr Coleman.

“Each year around 2,000 people with major trauma are transferred to hospital for care. Of these, up to 200 cases a year go to a hospital which provides initial care before sending them on to another hospital.

“This policy will help reduce the number of patients needing to be transferred during their care by getting them to a hospital which can provide all of the services right at the beginning of their treatment.

“By speeding up major trauma patients’ access to the level of care needed, it means some patients will bypass the closest hospital and go direct to the hospital designated to treat major trauma injuries.”

“Evidence suggests transporting patients to the right hospital earlier will result in better outcomes, less disability and an earlier return to work,” says Mr Woodhouse.

“The policy is the result of work undertaken by the Major Trauma National Clinical Network, in collaboration with ambulance services and hospital staff.

“The clinical networks are an excellent avenue for this kind of initiative. The network can review evidence, set standards and put in place quality improvements which ultimately improve outcomes for patients.”

Since its establishment in 2012, the Ministry of Health and ACC have supported the Major Trauma National Clinical Network to drive a service improvement programme by providing relevant information and being involved in operational decision-making.

ACC and the Ministry of Health have invested $742,000 over three years from 2015/16 to continue progressing the Major Trauma Clinical Network's work programme.