DETAILS of Wigan Infirmary’s new role as a Major Trauma Unit have been unveiled by health chiefs.
The hospital is one of three units (together with Stepping Hill and Oldham Royal) which will support three Major Trauma Centres (Manchester Royal, Wythenshawe and Salford Royal) which medics say will save more lives in Greater Manchester.
The three MTCs were launched this week, with Wigan Infirmary being phased in as an MTU between now and October. It could see people being brought to Wigan in a serious medical emergency.
The new system hopes to save up to 20 lives a year by taking patients to the hospital best equipped to deal with a particular emergency, rather than to the nearest Accident and Emergency department which has happened in the past, only for patients to be transferred at a later time to another hospital - which doctors say hinders chances of a full recovery.
For example, patients with head injury will be taken to Salford Royal, patients with major burns will be taken to Wythenshawe and patients with penetrating injuries will be taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary. Children with major trauma will be transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Tony Clayson, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Wigan, said: “By establishing centres of excellence with specialist staff that work together with other emergency departments, this will dramatically increase survival, recovery rates and the experiences of care for patients with severe injuries.
“Plus we will reduce the levels of disability for patients who survive major trauma injuries through quick access to assessment and treatment.”
The Clinical Lead of the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network, Dr Chris Brookes said; “Major trauma is life threatening or life changing serious physical injury, which typically involves more than one injury.
“This might include traumatic injury requiring amputation of a limb, severe knife and gunshot wounds, major head injury, multiple injuries to different parts of the body, spinal injury and severe burns.
“In order to minimise long-lasting harm to patients it is important that they have rapid access to the very best skills that the NHS can offer.
“Before the network was established patients would be taken to their nearest hospital, after which they may have been transferred to a more specialist site causing delays.
“Now the NHS is working together to get these seriously injured patients to the best possible care quickly. This collaboration will quite simply save more lives and allow a better quality of life for survivors.”