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NI Major Trauma Network hosts Northern Ireland’s First Major Trauma Conference

8th March 2019

Over 200 delegates attended Northern Ireland’s first Major Trauma conference held on 8th March 2019 at Queen’s University, Belfast. The event, organised by the NI Major Trauma Network, brought together front line staff, Major Trauma experts from the UK and Ireland, key policy makers and commissioning staff to share expertise and best practice in the planning and provision of trauma services. Presentations from the event can be viewed here.

Click here for more photographs from the event.

Speaking at the event, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “On behalf of the Department of Health I welcome the significant progress by the Major Trauma Network to design and deliver improved services for the most seriously injured patients throughout Northern Ireland. The collaborative approach to deliver the right care in the right place at the right exemplifies the ongoing transformation journey across Health and Social Care.”

The development of a designated regional Major Trauma Centre as part of an integrated regional Network will ensure the best possible clinical outcomes, and will benefit the whole injured population from the point of injury to rehabilitation supported by safe and consistent transfer protocols, specialist treatment pathways and robust clinical data.

Dr McBride added: “Transformation means working collaboratively across Trusts in effective networks with clinical leadership to do what is right for the patient. I want to commend the work that has been done by clinical, nursing and allied health leaders in partnership with the NI Ambulance Service and commissioners across Northern Ireland to design better models of care and rehabilitation, regional bypass and repatriation protocols for Major Trauma, and I look forward to their full implementation in the near future.”

The NI Major Trauma Network was established in December 2016 following a commitment by Health Ministers to establish an integrated trauma service alongside a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (which launched in July 2017). The Network comprises commissioners from the Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency, as well as clinical and service leaders from Health and Social Care Trusts including the NI Ambulance Service. It provides the infrastructure, in line with international best practice, that allows healthcare professionals, commissioners and other stakeholders to collaborate across the Health and Social Care system to plan, coordinate and manage the treatment of people injured as a result of Major Trauma, including injury prevention, pre-hospital care, acute specialty services at the Major Trauma Centre and local Emergency Departments, and rehabilitation services. The commitment of additional revenue funding of £1m, by the Health and Social Care Board in December 2018, will facilitate further development of the Network and the expansion of services at the Major Trauma Centre.

Speaking on behalf of the NI Major Trauma Network Dr Duncan Redmill, Clinical Lead, said: “I wish to welcome all of the speakers and workshop facilitators, both from Northern Ireland and from further afield, who are contributing their knowledge and sharing clinical practice at our event. Today’s work will further consolidate the collaborative working arrangements essential to the success of the Network which will ultimately improve outcomes for people who experience major trauma.”

Conference speakers and organisers pictured at NI’s inaugural Major Trauma Conference held in Belfast on 8 March 2019

Praising the multi-agency ethos, Chief Nursing Officer Professor Charlotte McArdle, said: “Service quality and safety are fundamental priorities identified in ‘Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together’ which creates the blueprint for the transformation of NI’s health and social care system. To realise our ambitions in developing modern, specialist emergency care services we must harness the strengths of the many different services and professions involved. Today’s conference creates the opportunity for us to work together, across traditional boundaries both professionally and geographically, to provide highly specialised trauma services into the future.”

Morgan McMonagle, Consultant Vascular & Trauma Surgeon from University Hospital Waterford presented on Damage Control Surgery: Major Trauma and Mass Casualty. Chris Moran, the National Clinical Director for Trauma with NHS England and a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Nottingham University Hospital shared with delegates his experience on what can be achieved through major trauma networks. Antoinette Edwards and Laura White from the Trauma Audit Research Network reflected on the importance of data and audit for trauma networks and the impact of a year of trauma audit in Northern Ireland. Dr Darren Monaghan and Glenn O’Rorke from NI’s Helicopter Emergency Medical Services brought delegates up to date on the important contribution of the HEMS service to the Network. Participants learned about Rehabilitation Medicine in Major Trauma, from both the perspective of a former patient and from Dr Suzanne Maguire, a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine at Belfast Trust.

A number of afternoon workshops provided delegate information on a range of topics from Education in Major Trauma to work completed so far in establishing a Major Trauma Centre at the RVH. Winners of a Major Trauma poster competition, selected by a conference panel, had the opportunity to present on their submission during the afternoon session.

Major Trauma describes serious and multiple injuries where there is a strong possibility of death or long term impact on quality of life and where patients may need to receive care from a number of surgical specialties to increase their chance of survival. Patients are admitted to the Major Trauma Centre for treatment at the earliest opportunity and repatriated back to their local hospital when well enough to do so. For further information on the work of the NI Major Trauma Network, its membership and aims visit