What is the process of treatment for a major trauma?
The first phase of treatment following a major trauma is acute, ward-based, hospital care. On arrival at hospital, a patient will undergo an initial assessment and acute stabilisation of their injuries, sometimes involving emergency surgery. Once the injuries and bodily functions are considered stable a patient may be admitted to a specialist trauma ward for ongoing specialist care. As well as doctors, nurses and other health care professionals on these wards some hospitals will have a trauma nurse co-ordinator who helps to co-ordinate patient care and can provide information to patients and their families.
After suffering any type of major traumatic injury a patient will need some rehabilitation to help return them to their daily lives with the highest level of function possible. The rehabilitation journey can involve both physical and psychological treatments and should ideally be coordinated and managed by a consultant in rehabilitation medicine. The rehabilitation programme itself is usually delivered by a variety of therapists, including:
- Occupational therapists;
- Speech and language therapists;
- Clinical psychologists.
For the best possible chance of maximising the recovery process it is usual that rehabilitation begins as early as possible for each patient, ideally whilst they are still in hospital. This could involve a therapist providing strengthening exercises that help to restore mobility before a patient is discharged home. Some people need more rehabilitation than others due to the severity of their injuries or their type of injuries, they will then be referred on to specific rehabilitation centres.
What happens after being discharged from hospital?
In around 75% of cases people discharged from hospital after suffering a major trauma will require some form of ongoing rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can be provided in a specialist inpatient setting or more commonly as an outpatient or in the community. Different parts of the country have different services available; it is widely acknowledged there are gaps in provision of rehabilitation an issue sometimes referred to as a “postcode lottery”. This is why it is so important to gain advice and an understanding of what rehabilitation services are available, as early in the process of recovery as possible.
The hospital staff make referrals to services in the local area for ongoing rehabilitation and these are detailed in the rehabilitation prescription (“RP”) showing the therapies required and rehabilitation goals. Unfortunately, there are often waiting lists for these services.
Common requirements after hospital discharge include:
- Medical appointments;
- Occupational therapy;
- District nurses;
- Clinical psychology.
Every patient and recovery process is unique and so those specific individual needs and the availability of services will determine the duration of any rehabilitation programme. Every local authority has a duty to assess anyone who appears to have care and support needs.
How can Major Trauma Group help?
Our experience is in making sure you receive the best possible outcomes from your rehabilitation journey. If you or a loved one is receiving hospital treatment or in need of rehabilitation after a major trauma our legal and financial expertise ensures the focus is on receiving the best possible care and rehabilitation.
We take care of the financial and legal worries so that you don’t have to.