“Since the setting up of the London Trauma System in April 2010, Londoner’s have had a safer and more expert and responsive service” said Tracy Parr of the London Trauma Office in a presentation to delegates at the Acquired Brain Injury Forum for London (ABIL) meeting on May 9th.
The service is consultant delivered 24/7 and time for emergency CT scans had been cut to less than 1 hour, leading to a significant reduction in times to appropriate treatment. Overall, more lives were being saved compared to national benchmarks. However, Tracy pointed out that although services are moving in the right direction there is still work to be done on improving access to rehabilitation.
This was picked up by her colleague, Rebekah Middleton, who discussed the initial results of data collected on the rehabilitation needs of patients with traumatic injuries in London and the use of outcome measures with this patient group. The data shows that the pathway for the severely injured group who require specialised rehabilitation is not currently optimal. Similarly the data identified considerable room for improvement in access to community services and the role of the navigator was further highlighted to be very important. The work overall will help to guide ongoing local and London rehabilitation improvements.
Brian Sladen and John Ling described a joint project between Headway South East London and Kings College Hospital, one of the Major Trauma Centres, which is helping in the co-ordination of services for people with an acquired brain injury in their catchment area. As well as assisting with the transition from hospital to the community, this successful project has Headway coordinators advocating in a case management capacity and supporting patients and families. The fragility of funding for voluntary sector input was noted.
The final speaker, Dr Colette Griffin of St George’s NHS Trust, another Major Trauma Centre, shared her experiences of setting up a dedicated head injury service in the south west of London. This has halved the amount of time from referral to surgery and ensured that a dedicated and experienced multidisciplinary team are available to meet the needs of the patient from admission through surgery and early intervention to rehabilitation. Dr Griffin is keen to develop further community links, including with voluntary sector organisations, to enhance the service.
For further information about the London Trauma Office see http://www.londontraumaoffice.nhs.uk/
Download the presentations from http://www.abil.co.uk/downloads/2011-meetings/