Call for improvements to trauma care

MORE needs to be done to improve the trauma care service at Ipswich Hospital, it has been claimed today.

IPSWICH: More needs to be done to improve the trauma care service at Ipswich Hospital, it has been claimed today.

In the East of England, a significant programme of work is already underway to develop an integrated Regional Trauma Network for trauma services between the hospitals in the region, meaning patients will get the best care more quickly.

Two hospitals in the East of England, likely to be Addenbrooke's and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals, have been identified as being the specialists centres. Although Ipswich Hospital has said it will not be a specialist centre as it does not have neuro-surgery or 24/7 heart services, it will still deal with some trauma cases.

There are 20,000 major trauma cases in England every year - patients with serious injuries, often from road accidents, falls or burns.

In a new National Audit Office report, it states that there is an unacceptable variation in major trauma care in England depending upon where and when people are treated.

Ben Gummer, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, said: “If you have a hub and spokes system, the district hospital (Ipswich) has got to be geared up to stabilise people before transportation. Transport needs to be better as we only have the air ambulance to rely on. The IT systems, in terms of transferring images from Ipswich to the trauma centres, are also inadequate. There must be investment in the spokes as well as the hub. This area definitely requires more attention.”

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An NHS East of England spokesman said: “Improving care for seriously ill patients must be a priority and we recognise that significant improvements can be made to improve outcomes for patients. This network will strengthen the decision-making process used to determine where a major trauma patient needs to go to get the treatment they need. There are no plans to downgrade any emergency services at any of our region's hospitals.”

Jan Rowsell, Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman, said: “It is a fantastic service we provide and this will continue. We welcome this report and are working towards best practice.”

Do you think more needs to be done to improve the trauma service at Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to