Public welcome for Major Trauma Centre as long as it is resourced

Proposals to treat some of the most severe and complex injuries at a Norfolk hospital have won cautious backing from local people.

A new report says they welcome them as long as they receive the resourcing and support they need.

Healthwatch Norfolk was asked to get public feedback around proposals for a major trauma centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Currently patients who need specialist help and care for the most serious injuries or trauma have to go to Addenbrookes in Cambridge.

NHS England has suggested this could be offered at the NNUH set against the increasing demands for care and delays in transferring patients.

Over 1300 people responded to the study leaving their feedback in a range of ways including a survey, chatting as part of the Three Hospitals Three Weeks campaign when the Healthwatch team spent a week at the NNUH, a focus group with hospital volunteers, and interviews with people who had been treated at the Addenbrookes Major Trauma Centre.

Most agreed with the idea if it was properly resourced and funded, had the infrastructure in place and doesn’t have an impact on existing services. Most survey respondents also told us they think the proposal will have a positive impact on both themselves, and the hospital.

People also wanted to see careful thought given to the location, parking and infrastructure of any Major Trauma Centre, and full detail about these areas of the project should be communicated to the public.

Those we spoke to who had experience of care at Addenbrookes also felt they would have had a better experience if they or their loved ones could be treated more locally, and they also felt there needed to be more support for loved ones including accommodation, free parking, and help with reducing financial costs.

Following an analysis of the feedback, Healthwatch Norfolk made the following recommendations:


  • The NNUH should be developed as a Major Trauma Centre


  • The new centre should not negatively impact any existing hospital service, particularly staffing.


  • There should be strong public communication with the public on the impact of a Major Trauma Centre and how these will be addressed, including what it means for Addenbrookes.


  • More support is needed for loved ones of people being treated for major trauma.

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk, said:

“Having enhanced trauma care and facilities on our doorstep is something people welcomed as long as it does not impact current services.

“As with so many things, communication is key, and people also wanted to be kept informed of the process and make sure their views are woven into the proposals.”

Jessamy Kinghorn, the head of partnerships and engagement for the NHS in the region, welcomed the document,

saying it is a “coherent, comprehensive report that gives NHS England a clear steer on the view of local people on the way forward, and identifies some issues to be mindful of in developing the proposals.

“We will take on board the findings and recommendations of the report in seeking to improve access to major trauma expertise and outcomes, not only for people living in Norfolk, but also in the wider East of England region.”

You can find out more and download the full report here.