Teams from the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance and Queens Medical Centre join forces to improve care for major trauma patients

When the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) clinicians take a patient into hospital, they and the hospital doctors have just minutes to discuss the patient’s condition as care is handed over.

To better understand the work of each team, LNAA crew and doctors from Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) came together at LNAA’s HQ on Feb 8, 2023, to identify ways to improve care for major trauma patients.

Shayda Karimi, a doctor with LNAA organised the day. She said: “We explored the steps of a patient’s journey, starting with the pre-hospital aspect.

“The major trauma team participated in simulations highlighting the specific problems faced when assessing patients ‘in the field’, the difficulty extracting patients, working outside, and delivering an anaesthetic with limited help available. We then simulated the process of ‘handing the patient over’ and the point at which our two teams usually meet.

“The LNAA team were able to hear about what happens to our patients after we leave them in ED, from the acute process of admitted and stabilised to longer term follow-up, rehabilitation and psychological recovery.”

QMC is East Midlands Trauma Network’s designated major trauma centre and the LNAA team regularly transfer patients there after they’ve treated them at the scene of an incident.Together, the LNAA and major trauma teams treat these patients from point of injury to rehabilitation and recovery many months later. But the teams only meet for a very brief period in the emergency department when the patient’s care is transferred.

Aimee, a Junior Major Trauma Fellow at QMC has found her desire to be a HEMS doctor has strengthened after attending the day’s event.  She said: “It has been interesting to see the whole patient journey, from the scene of an incident to hospital. At hospital you take it for granted about how a patient arrived in ED and you get just a 30 second snapshot of what has happened when a patient is handed over in resuscitation. This day has made me appreciate how complex the scene might have been, the difficulties in the extradition of the patient and the psychological impact on families as well as the crew.”

“I now appreciate how challenging pre-hospital medicine can be. I have learnt about what happens before the patient arrives at hospital and the specialist skills the PHEM team have.”

About Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC)

The UK is served by 22 regional trauma networks with the Major Trauma Centre acting as the hub providing specialist trauma care and rehabilitation for the most severely injured patients. QMC is East Midlands Trauma Network’s designated major trauma centre. In many instances, the LNAA team will assess and treat critically ill patients, often at the scene of injury and ensure they are stabilised before being safely transferred to the emergency department at QMC.