Wales

Major trauma centre: The case for Morriston, Swansea

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Media captionAn extract of a presentation video making the case for Morriston Hospital

Swansea's Morriston Hospital has 700 general beds, 22 operating theatres and 70 critical care beds and the focus of the bid is on its location.

Image caption The golden hour - how Swansea would look alongside other major trauma centres

Advantages:

  • One of its key arguments is "location, location, location." It is close to the M4 and A465 Heads of the Valleys road. It already has a heli-pad. It will be able to reach a wider sweep of the population - including west Wales - for the so-called "golden hour" of travelling time of getting patients to hospital
  • There is also room to expand, with 55 acres next to the hospital and plans for a new £15m health science campus with an institute for life sciences
  • A feather in its cap is that its speciality - its well-established burns and plastics unit - serves four English trauma centres and a population of 10 million people
Image copyright ABMUHB
Image caption Luke James, 25, had his right leg saved at Morriston's trauma ward after a serious car crash. He needed four operations but is able to walk again

Would include:

  • Restore ability to do neurosurgery - a surgical presence if not a fully fledged centre
  • Extra staff and theatre time to provide round-the-clock care
  • Two or three more intensive care beds
  • A new CT scanner
  • More inpatients beds
  • New cardiology facilities
  • Orthopaedic centre is planned within three years

Disadvantages:

  • Morriston does not have neurosurgery - but it would develop neuro-trauma, appointing five more surgeons and would work jointly with Cardiff
  • It does not have paediatric intensive care - although it has paediatric high dependency and not all major trauma centres have a paediatric element
  • Its accident and emergency waiting times are currently the worst in Wales for targets for 12-hour waits. It recognises these challenges but wants to expand capacity

The pitch:

Prof Hamish Laing, medical director, said: "Both Morriston and the Heath are excellent hospitals, this isn't really so much about the hospitals. We have nearly all the services you need for a major trauma centre.

"We have some services that are not in Cardiff and Cardiff has some that are not here. The NHS can sort that out; you can move services or individuals around."

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Media captionAmanda Kyle, an occupational therapist in plastic surgery, argues that Morriston is also well placed for trauma after-care

"The key thing that Morriston offers is the greatest opportunity for the most people - the greatest coverage of south Wales - to be [here] within an hour," said Prof Laing.

"Because it's sitting by the motorway, it means it's much easier to access from the other side of Haverfordwest, the other side of Brecon or Newport."

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