Chichester hospital’s A&E now a trauma unit

THE ACCIDENT and Emergency departments at St Richard’s and Worthing Hospitals are now both accredited trauma units after the Sussex Trauma Network approved the Worthing application.

St Richard’s status was awarded in April.

Trauma units provide emergency care for all but the most seriously injured, and have to be capable of treating these patients as well if it is not possible to get them to the major trauma centre within 45 minutes, the closest to Chichester being Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The new trauma units will provide ongoing treatment and rehabilitation for patients once they have been discharged from the major centre, enabling them to access the services they need much closer to home.

The new networks are designed around regional major trauma centres, which specialise in treating people who have suffered potentially life-threatening major trauma, such as serious head or internal injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.

Dr Amanda Wellesley, Western Sussex Hospital Trust’s lead clinician for Accident and Emergency, said: “We have shown the network we can provide high-quality care across the trust for patients who have sustained trauma. The patients who sustain the biggest trauma will go to the major centre and the next level down will be able to come to St Richard’s or Worthing.

“Gaining this status is a great vote of confidence in the quality of care we provide and will mean more patients can be cared for closer to home.”