PATIENTS with serious injuries in Scotland are to be treated in specialist trauma units being established at four hospitals, according to plans announced by the Scottish Government.
The units will be located at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and the new Southern General Hospital in Glasgow and will be operational from 2016, offering lifesaving treatment to around 1200 patients per year.
These hubs will form part of a new national major trauma network which the Government estimates could save up to 40 lives each year by speeding up access to specialist care and treatment in, for example, head injuries or serious road traffic accidents.
Local hospitals will continue to care for people with less serious injuries, such as fractures and minor head injuries, and may still deal with a very small number of major trauma cases, particularly where patients are unable to reach a major trauma unit within a reasonable time period.
Speaking as he visited the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “It is important that patients who experience major trauma injuries get access to specialist care and treatment within the shortest possible timescale.
"This network of specialist centres will ensure that patients can be taken directly to the most appropriate place for treatment, and reduce any delay in receiving the treatment they need.
"The national network will involve the Scottish Ambulance Service, specialist major trauma centres and local hospitals working together to make a real difference to the lives of seriously-injured people in Scotland."