A hospital trust is preparing to make two major changes – moving neurosurgery away from Haywards Heath while creating a ‘dedicated service’ for hip fracture treatment.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust is moving neurosurgery from Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre at the Princess Royal Hospital to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
The trust said the move, which will take place later in 2015, will bring ‘key emergency services together under one roof’ as part the hospital’s Major Trauma Centre status.
The changes will also mean all patients who suffer breaks or fractures in their thigh bone near the hip will soon be treated solely at the Princess Royal.
Dr Jonathan Andrews, consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead for the Sussex Major Trauma Centre said: “Swiftly taking patients with complex or multiple injuries to the highly-skilled and experienced trauma clinicians working in the Major Trauma Centre saves lives.
“We treat about 500 major trauma patients a year through the Major Trauma Centre and the missing piece in this jigsaw of expert care is neurosurgery.”
The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton has been the Major Trauma Centre for Sussex since April 2012. But patients who suffer major trauma or a head injury in an accident are usually taken to hospital in London for treatment.
The trust hopes the change will mean 350 more patients every year will be treated in Sussex instead of being referred to London hospitals.
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “Ambulance service staff are highly experienced at making the right judgement.
“If a patient needs to be stabilised quickly, they will be taken to the nearest local trauma unit for immediate treatment. They will then be transferred to the Major Trauma Centre at Brighton when it is safe and clinically appropriate.”
The trust has plans to build a helipad for the air ambulance and a purpose-built neuroscience department as part of the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s redevelopment – scheduled to open in 2019.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust said patients with hip fractures will recover ‘faster and more fully’ when they are treated at Haywards Heath. More than 450 people are treated every year by BSUH for a break or fracture in their thigh bone near the hip.
Half of these patients are transferred to the Princess Royal for rehabilitation following their surgery at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. A spokeswoman for the trust said: “This move interrupts the therapy patients receive and ultimately increases the length of time they spend in hospital.
“BSUH has one of the best services available for treating patients with a fractured neck of femur, with nationally recognised experts caring for these patients.”
Lisa Leonard, consultant orthopaedic surgeon said: “Moving this service to the Princess Royal Hospital is the right thing for these patients. We have a fantastic opportunity to create a dedicated service really focussed on their needs and set in the more peaceful and spacious surroundings of the Princess Royal Hospital.”
Patients with a fractured neck of femur will be taken to PRH by ambulance and will be fast-tracked through A&E to be cared for by staff on the specialist orthopaedic ward.
Hurstwood Park will continue to play an important role for neurosciences, particularly for Mid Sussex patients.
Outpatient appointments, diagnostics and other work will continue to be provided there as part of the services provided by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust across its two main sites.
Other clinical services will move into Hurstwood Park following the move of neurosurgery.
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