A MAJOR shake-up in A&E departments is now being rolled out across the region – with seriously injured patients not necessarily being treated at the nearest hospital.
Trauma victims from incidents such as car crashes, shootings and stabbings will now be taken primarily to specialist centres in Liverpool.
The Royal Liverpool Hospital in equal partnership with Aintree University Hospital and The Walton Centre have been named as the Major Trauma Collaborative (MTC) for Merseyside and Cheshire.
Paramedics – using North West Ambulance Service guidance – will be asked to make a judgement call about where patients should be best treated and if they need to go to a local A&E department to be stabilised before continuing their journey to the MTC.
Patients with the most severe injuries may be taken directly to the specialist sites straight away, bypassing their local hospital.
NHS bosses say this new way of working has the potential to save 20% more lives.
Health chiefs insist the driver for change is better results for patients – not saving money. And they claim the extra journey times some patients may face will be “outweighed” by the specialist care they get at the MTC.