Norfolk and Norwich hospital tops eastern region as new trauma board boosts outcomes

L-R: Vicky Smith, Aaron Nazar, Laura Blanc, Graham Chambers, and Anthony Marsh, CEO of East of Engla

L-R: Vicky Smith, Aaron Nazar, Laura Blanc, Graham Chambers, and Anthony Marsh, CEO of East of England Ambulance Service. - Credit: Archant

More patients admitted with serious injuries are surviving at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital than anywhere else in the eastern region of England.

Surgeons at the hospital put the good news down to the fact that it set up a trauma board in 2012 which worked towards improving outcomes for people in life-threatening situations.

The figures published by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) will make pleasant reading for hospital managers and comes amid a backdrop of missed A&E targets last winter.

But bosses at James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, blamed the fact that many of their trauma patients are elderly people with complex health issues, after the hospital had the worst performance in the region.

Trauma injuries are serious or life-threatening injuries.

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Outcomes (survival or death) after trauma is best measured by the number of those who actually survived compared with the number who are expected to survive.

Thirteen of the biggest hospitals across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire supplied data to researchers.

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According to statistics the N&N had an extra 2.9 additional survivors of every 100 trauma patients between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

That compares to 1.2 additional survivors for the 2011/12 period.

Dr Darren Morrow, chairman of the trauma board and consultant vascular surgeon at the N&N, said: 'All members of the trauma board have worked very hard to evaluate our performance and introduce the highest standards of care for trauma patients.

'We have excellent joined-up care from as soon as the patient arrives in A&E to our surgeons, intensive care unit, care on the wards and rehabilitation both inside the hospital and the community.'

By contrast, the JPH had a score of 0.8 additional deaths per 100 patients treated. But its figure was an improvement from 2011/12 when there were 2.6 additional trauma patient deaths per 100 patients.

Nick Oligbo, medical director of JPH, said: 'Our trauma team works closely with the staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, to ensure our patients with treatable trauma injuries are transferred quickly for specialised care.

'A significant proportion of the multiple trauma patients we see are elderly, frail and very poorly with significant other health issues. This often means they can't be moved as they are unlikely to recover from their injuries and will therefore continue their care at the JPH.'

King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) score dropped fractionally from 0.8 additional survivors of every 100 patients in 2011/12 to 0.5 in 2013/14. Clive Walsh, chief operating officer, said the QEH was not a major trauma centre but added: 'The figures give an indication of the severity of some of the trauma patients who come into our trauma unit.'

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had 1.5 extra survivors for every 100 patients, a drop of 0.2 from 2011/12.

Have you had a trauma injury treated at one of these hospitals? Email

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