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Integrated trauma system puts patients first

More seriously injured patients in the central North Island are surviving their accidents and getting better care since the Midland Regional Trauma System (MRTS) was set up two years ago.

The clinically led system which Health Minister Tony Ryall launched in March 2010 integrates care for serious accident victims across four District Health Boards – Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Lakes DHBs.

Trauma care is the treatment given to seriously injured patients by specialist teams of surgeons and nurses from the first care through to recovery and rehabilitation.

Speaking at this year’s MRTS symposium, Mr Ryall says strong clinical leadership across the Midland region is making sure patients receive consistently good care after a serious accident.

“We know a patient’s recovery is often linked to how quickly they get treatment – and in an emergency, that action is required within minutes. Rapid and precise decision-making early is key to saving lives. So are agreed best practice guidelines and a clear plan for the patient’s rehabilitation afterwards.

“One of the strengths of a trauma network is that clinicians in all four DHBs talk to each other regularly about the best treatment and care for trauma patients.

“Under the strong leadership of Grant Christey, the MRTS has gone from a small group of dedicated health professionals at Waikato Hospital, to a regional network of trauma specialists working together to give patients the best care available.

“The Christchurch earthquakes have brought into stark relief the importance of developing responsive and resilient trauma systems.

“This Government is committed to regional planning and integration of services so that DHBs work effectively together with each other and other service providers. This will improve the quality of care for patients and reduce duplication and wasted resources.

“Recently we announced the new National Major Trauma Clinical Network – a joint initiative between ACC and the Ministry of Health. It will work closely with successful regional networks such as MRTS to ensure the very best level of trauma care is provided consistently for severely injured patients across New Zealand.”


A core group for the Midland Regional Trauma System is based at Waikato Hospital and provides on-going professional support and clinical advice to the other DHBs in the group.

The core group also administers the central registry and Trauma Quality Improvement Programme based on registry data.

Since MRTS establishment, Waikato Hospital has gained provisional Level 1 Trauma Verification by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.


Jackie Maher 04 817 9788 or 021 243 7803

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