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Major shake-up for trauma care in Ireland

The Association said it supports the reforms outlined in the report, and “the ultimate beneficiary of this change will be the patient, their family and society,” said the IAEM in a statement.

However the IAEM warned that it was “vital” that the report “is implemented in its entirety and as soon as possible”.

“Cherry picking just elements of the implementation of the trauma system could result in outcomes that are worse for patients, for example if patients bypass smaller hospitals to be brought to centres that do not have capacity to deal with them,” warned the Association.

“A trauma system relies on every link in the chain of survival working so that patients reap the rewards we anticipate and they deserve.”

The report recommends the establishment of an inclusive trauma system which will include two regional trauma networks, one central and one south.

There will be one designated major trauma centre in each of these networks, which should treat a minimum number of major trauma patients in order to maintain a critical mass of specialist expertise.

The networks will also include a number of other trauma units and, in addition, a trauma unit with specialist services, which will also deal with trauma cases.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris said the new report “will lead to better outcomes for patients”.

“The vision for a national trauma system set out in this major report is to prevent unnecessary deaths, to reduce disabilities and to significantly improve the patient’s chances of attaining the fullest possible recovery,” said Minister Harris.

“Evidence-based and informed by population needs, it addresses the entire care pathway from prevention and pre-hospital emergency care through to rehabilitation.”

The Minister also noted the important role of the major trauma audit. “Having good data to inform our service planning and delivery is paramount to providing a safe and effective health service for our citizens. The phased introduction of National Office of Clinical Audit’s (NOCA) Major Trauma Audit since 2014 provided the Steering Group with access to information that would not have previously been available. Such information supports decision making in how we structure our trauma systems for the future.”

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