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It feels like no time at all since the Scottish Trauma Network (STN) team convened in June 2017. It has been inspiring to witness the expertise, dynamism and passion of the wide and varied community of NHS Scotland’s trauma care professionals, and their commitment to the Network’s successful delivery. Download our Annual Report here.
I commend and thank all colleagues for their contributions of time, knowledge and energy to this national endeavour.
Following representation and negotiation, the Scottish Government’s December 2017 budget committed its support giving the green light for the four regional networks and the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), and in particular the North and East, to begin the implementation of their capital projects, recruitment plans and operational developments in order to establish and open the Aberdeen and Dundee Major Trauma Centres (MTCs) later this year. Similar major work continues in the regional networks in the South East and West of Scotland. SAS has led the way in improving pre-hospital trauma care in Scotland with significant investment in 2017 in the trauma desk and new equipment for ambulances.
In January 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, and the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, attended and supported our ambitious STN launch event over two days at Murrayfield Stadium. This proved highly successful in bringing us all together to air and discuss, to support each other, to plan and collaborate. The crucial and important roles of the Scottish Trauma Audit Group (STAG), a coordinated, expanded and responsive Rehabilitation model, an opportunity for Scotland to lead in developing the use of technology in the form of a Trauma App, and the forensic benefits of an inclusive Public Health approach, were all highlights among several others.
Over recent months, we have engaged and embarked upon detailed programmes of planning, work and development across the Network’s working groups; Prevention, Pre-Hospital, Acute, Rehabilitation, Major Incidents with Mass Casualties Planning, and Education and Workforce. This work spans across Paediatric to Adult to Silver Trauma. Scotland’s special challenges of geography and meteorology have demonstrated beyond doubt the requirement for us all in the Network to focus on a flexible, responsive and pragmatic approach to delivering a service with equality of access for all our patients. With this in mind, the progress also being made towards delivery of a Scottish Specialist Transport and Retrieval (ScotSTAR) North hub in 2019 is very exciting.
As the STN momentum builds in and across these groups, I am struck by the spirit of broad and deep collaboration, and supportive cross-fertilisation of ideas. This augurs well for the integrated and coordinated Network both now and in the future.
National Clinical Lead