Scottish trauma services network £5m funding announced
The development of four major trauma centres in Scotland will be given an additional £5m funding this year, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.
The centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh will treat the most seriously injured patients.
The new network, whose centres were originally planned to open in 2016, will not be fully implemented until at least 2020.
Major trauma is the leading cause of death in under 40s in Scotland.
The First Minister said the centres would create a trauma network where patients would get the best specialist treatment and rehabilitation.
The new Scottish Trauma Network, which will also include the Scottish Ambulance Service and existing trauma services, aims to benefit about 6,000 of Scotland's seriously injured patients each year.
'Scale and complexity'
Ms Sturgeon met clinical staff at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee who have been involved in the development of the new trauma network.
She said: "The Scottish Trauma Network will connect and co-ordinate clinical teams across the country, giving patients, particularly those with major trauma, access to better care and rehabilitation support and ensure they get taken to the right place as quickly as possible.
"One of our other key areas of focus is pre-hospital care, ensuring our emergency services can get to any trauma patient quickly and have more advanced skills, training and support to better help patients at the scene and on their way to the most appropriate hospital."
Ms Sturgeon said the new approach could save up to 40 more lives every year.
She said: "Given the scale and complexity of the changes required to deliver the network, we should need to recognise it will take at least three years to fully implement it.
"We are allocating an extra £5 million in 2017-18 to begin to accelerate these improvements, and we will be putting further, significant investment in as we continue to build and fully establish the network over the next few years."
Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood said: "Each year in Scotland, around 5,000 people are seriously injured, with around 1,000 cases being defined as 'major trauma'.
"For each trauma fatality, there are two survivors with serious or permanent disability that will have significant impact on quality of life.
"These severely injured patients require highly specialised care, extended hospital stays and extensive rehabilitation.
"Today marks an important day in changing trauma care in Scotland for the better."