A Trauma System for Ireland

In 2015 the Minister for Health established a Steering Group, chaired by Professor Eilis McGovern, to develop a trauma policy for Ireland. This work culminated in the publication of the report of the Trauma Steering Group, A Trauma System for Ireland in February 2018.

The report takes a whole system approach addressing all elements of the trauma care pathway including prevention, pre-hospital care, acute hospital care, rehabilitation and supported discharge.

The report recommends the establishment of an inclusive trauma system, where a network of facilities and services co-ordinate in the care of injured patients along standardised pathways. Inclusive trauma systems in similar jurisdictions to Ireland have been shown to significantly reduce the number of deaths and disabilities caused by major trauma.

The new trauma system will consist of two trauma networks, the Central Trauma Network and the South Trauma Network. Each trauma network will have a Major Trauma Centre and a number of Trauma Units. Each of the two Major Trauma Centres will provide the highest level of specialist trauma care to the most severely injured patients on a single hospital site. As part of the trauma networks, Trauma Units will deliver more general trauma care to the majority of patients who do not need the specialist expertise of a Major Trauma Centre.

A key step to deliver this trauma system is the designation of two Major Trauma Centres. The report outlines that one Major Trauma Centre should be based in Dublin servicing the Central Trauma Network, with another based in Cork University Hospital servicing the South Trauma Network.

Next: The Trauma Review Implementation Group