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Royal Sussex set to take on emergency brain ops
Emergency brain and spine operations are to be carried out at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton by next spring.
At the moment, critically ill patients have to be transferred from the Royal Sussex to Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath for urgent surgery.
The Royal Sussex accident and emergency department has a major trauma centre specially set up to treat people who have suffered serious and multiple injuries.
However any patients who have brain injuries as well have to be airlifted to other centres outside the county because specialist neurosurgery is not based in Brighton.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has long term plans to centralise neurological services in Brighton as part of a planned £420 million redevelopment.
However bosses have decided to speed up the move following a recommendation from an external review of the service carried out by James Palmer, clinical director for specialist services for NHS England.
The trust said the review was not carried out because of concerns over the quality of care but because of the way patients were having to move between Brighton and Haywards Heath or be taken out of Sussex altogether.
Chief executive Matthew Kershaw said: “For example, in May this year a motorcyclist who was seriously injured on Church Road in Hove, less than three miles from the Royal Sussex, was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London more than 50 miles away.
“As a major trauma centre we have to find a way of providing 24/7 |neurotrauma cover at the Royal |Sussex alongside our other trauma services.
“This is undoubtedly an extremely complex issue but this report will help us take forward the significant amount of work required to develop a safe and high quality services which meets the needs of all our patients and is operationally and financially sustainable.
“We will continue to talk to and work closely with all the staff affected in order to conclude the necessary moves and changes to services as soon as possible.”
The move will mean the trauma |centre will be able to deal with brain injuries alongside the specialist |emergency services it already provides such as heart, renal and vascular surgery.
The changes will also lead to planned spinal surgery being moved from Hurstwood Park to the Sussex Orthopaedic Centre, which, like Hurstwood Park, is based in the grounds of Princess Royal Hospital.
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