Two Major Trauma Centres Launched In Significant Step Forward For The National Trauma Strategy
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly have officially opened the Major Trauma Centres (MTCs) at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin and Cork University Hospital.
The opening of the two Major Trauma Centres, in line with the vision of the national trauma strategy ‘A Trauma System for Ireland’, will further enable the provision of comprehensive trauma services across the country where patients will receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The two Major Trauma Centres will provide the highest level of specialist trauma care to the most severely injured patients for the two trauma networks, the Central Trauma Network and the South Trauma Network. In addition to the two Major Trauma Centres being launched, a network of Trauma Units will be developed in each trauma network to deliver more general trauma care to the majority of patients who do not need the specialist expertise of a Major Trauma Centre.
The vision for a national trauma system set out in A Trauma System for Ireland is to prevent unnecessary deaths, to reduce disabilities and to significantly improve the patient’s chances of attaining the fullest possible recovery.
Minister Donnelly welcomed the opening of the Major Trauma Centres at the Mater and CUH saying, “this marks a significant milestone in the development of trauma care in Ireland. The opening of the two Major Trauma Centres in Dublin and Cork is the start of a radical change programme, reorganising trauma care into two trauma networks, improving both the quality of care and outcomes for patients with major trauma.”
“Evidence continues to show that receiving the right care, at the right time, in the right place significantly reduces the risk of severe disability and death for patients with severe trauma. Evidence shows that severely injured patients are less likely to die if admitted to a Major Trauma Centre than if admitted to other hospitals.”
The MTC at the Mater will now begin to support a network of hospitals across the Central Trauma Network, accepting the transfer of severely injured patients from other networked hospitals. It is forecast that an additional 1,500 patients will be managed by the MTC at the Mater once the trauma system is fully operational. Similarly, the MTC at Cork University Hospital will support trauma across the South Trauma Network and is forecast that an additional 380 trauma patients will be managed at CUH once the Trauma System is fully established.
In this first phase of implementation of the Trauma Strategy, the government has invested significantly in the capacity and infrastructure required to support the delivery of major trauma services at the two MTCs, including €12.65 million revenue investment and almost €18 million capital investment at MMUH and CUH.
Welcoming the launch, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, “this announcement is a major step towards changing fundamentally how trauma victims are treated and improving patient outcomes by reducing preventable death and disability in Ireland. Each MTC will now deliver high-end specialist services, with a volume sufficient to maintain their skills for the most severely injured patients on a dedicated single hospital site. As the trauma system matures in the coming years the MTCs will work with other providers in their networks, such as Trauma Units, injury units and the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to standardise the provision of trauma care pathways.”
The CEO of the Health Service Executive (HSE), Bernard Gloster, said, “we know from experience that major centres and networks of specialty lead to significantly more effective care and treatment. In the case of trauma care this step today is a major component of the overall strategy. The networks supported by the major centres will greatly improve their ability to respond to people who need trauma care, leading to the best possible outcomes.”
At the event in the Mater Hospital, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health also opened the new Emergency Wing at the Mater Hospital. This new wing is known as the Rock Wing after Sr Margherita Rock, a former chairperson of the board of MMUH who dedicated her life to caring for others.
The new wing will provide additional capacity in the hospital, as well as providing accommodation for a range of specialty services. It also includes a trauma ward that will support the development of major trauma services at the MTC, as well as additional ICU beds to further deliver on the Strategic Plan for Critical Care. The Rock Wing will also include the new isolation beds to support the operation of the National Isolation Unit, an infectious disease ward and a respiratory medicine ward.