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20
Jan

£20 million to bring breakthroughs from battlefield to bedside


Treatment of around 20,000 people who suffer major trauma each year is set to improve as the Government announces significant new investment into trauma and microbiology research.

The Department of Health, the Ministry of Defence, University Hospitals Birmingham and University of Birmingham are investing £20 million in a new initiative to share medical lessons learned. The initiative will bring both military and civilian trauma surgeons and scientists together to share innovation in medical research and advanced clinical practice in the battlefield to benefit all trauma patients in the NHS at an early stage of injury.

 

The new National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Centre for Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology will be set up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where all injured service personnel are currently treated after evacuation from the frontline in Afghanistan.


Research will focus initially on today's most urgent challenges in trauma including:
• identifying effective resuscitation techniques;
• surgical care after multiple injuries or amputation; and
• fighting wound infections.

 

For every trauma fatality in England, there are two people who are left with severe and often permanent injuries. Currently, variable research into trauma care means advances are not always shared across the NHS. The new NIHR centre will form a central point in England for trauma research where knowledge can be translated into real improvements in care for all NHS patients and beyond. It will be the first and only research centre of its kind in the UK to focus both on military and civilian care and treatment.

 

[quote top=Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:] The new NIHR Centre will fund world-leading research to help people recover better and faster from severe injuries. There have already been significant developments in advanced emergency treatment and transportation but more medical research is needed. [/quote]

He went on to say:  “This investment will help to strengthen the response of health and emergency services to major disasters such as road traffic accidents and terrorist attacks in the future. It will also help to make the NHS leaders in the world of trauma care - helping to improve treatment and care in the NHS and around the world. This investment also reflects our commitment to health research in the strongest possible way.”

 

Defence Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan said “The medics who work for our Armed Forces are recognised the world over for pioneering new advances in trauma care and quite rightly so. Those who have been injured defending their country deserve the very best standards of care. I am proud that the MoD is investing £10 million in the new NIHR Centre, which will allow us to develop new techniques to treat our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and allow military surgeons to share our skills and knowledge with the NHS.”

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