Four West Midlands hospitals given trauma centre status
Four West Midlands hospitals have become designated trauma centres making them the first port of call for people with life-threatening injuries.
Two centres are University Hospital in Coventry and University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is another adult centre. Birmingham Children's Hospital also now has a consultant on site around the clock.
The centres will deal with multiple injuries and other complex emergencies.
An NHS spokesperson said they hoped to save a further 60 lives each year in the West Midlands by implementing the network of centres.
Seriously injured patients from Herefordshire and Worcestershire will be sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham while those in Shropshire will be taken to the trauma centre in Stoke-on-Trent.
University Hospital in Coventry already deals with the most seriously injured patients in the city, Warwickshire and parts of Northamptonshire.'Trauma care lagging'
Dr Matthew Wyse, part of the major trauma service in Coventry, said the hospital had received "significant extra investment".
Dr Wyse said: "We've put the vast majority of that extra money into increased frontline staff to actually care for those patients.
"Our emergency department consultants will be on site receiving the most seriously injured patients 24 hours a day.
"We've got extra nurses on our trauma ward, extra radiologists who perform the trauma body scanning as soon as the patients come in and extra staff in the resuscitation room of the emergency department."
Dr Wyse admitted the Department of Health had recognised that "trauma care in general has lagged behind other countries" and he was not expecting too many more patients to be sent to Coventry.
"We see about 250 major trauma patients a year in Coventry and that figure will probably increase to 300 or so," he continued.