This guideline covers the organisation and provision of major trauma services in pre-hospital and hospital settings, including ambulance services, emergency departments, major trauma centres and trauma units. It aims to reduce deaths and disabilities in people with serious injuries by providing a systematic approach to the delivery of major trauma care. It does not cover services for people with burns.

The guideline should be read alongside the NICE guidelines on major trauma, spinal injury and complex fractures, which provide clinical recommendations for major trauma care.

NHS England’s clinical reference group (CRG) produce the service specification for major trauma. The CRG intends to consider the NICE guidelines on major trauma, major trauma: service delivery, spinal injury and complex fractures in future updates to the service specification which are planned for 2017.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

Commissioners of major trauma services, ambulance and hospital trust boards, medical directors, and senior managers in ambulance trusts

Healthcare professionals and practitioners who provide care for people with major trauma or suspected major trauma in pre-hospital and hospital settings

People with major trauma or suspected major trauma, their families and carers

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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