999 Care Shake-Up 'Will Save 500 Lives a Year'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Goodchild Health Editor

CASUALTY patients will be graded before they are taken to hospital to speed up their treatment in an overhaul of emergency care in London.

The more severely injured patients will receive treatment at 24-hour emergency "supercentres" while less serious cases will go to their local A&E departments.

The [pounds sterling]12 million scheme, which will create the largest trauma system of its kind in the world, should save 500 lives a year, according to Healthcare for London. Four key sites will handle victims of serious incidents such as gun crime and traffic accidents. The centres have been named as St Mary's in Paddington, the Royal London in Whitechapel, St George's in Tooting and King's College in Denmark Hill.

Specialists there will also perform emergency brain surgery and complex bone operations. Local A&E units will handle the "walking wounded".

Currently most major trauma cases are sent to the nearest A&E where doctors may not have the expertise to treat them. …


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