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Our major trauma service

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Why am I here?

You have come to the Royal Sussex County Hospital to receive trauma care from our specialist surgical teams.

The Sussex Major Trauma Network was set up to deliver care to people who sustain their injuries across Sussex. The Royal Sussex County Hospital is the major trauma centre in the Sussex Trauma Network.

    What is major trauma?

    The term ‘major trauma’ is used to describe injuries to people who have been involved in a traumatic incident, for example road traffic collisions or falls. Major trauma can be single, multiple, serious or life-threatening injuries.

      Who will be looking after me?

      You will be cared for by doctors and nurses from a number of specialities depending on your injuries. You may see doctors from the orthopaedic, spinal, neurosurgical or general surgical teams. While you are here, the different teams will visit you on their ‘ward round’.

      In the hospital, there is a team of Specialist Major Trauma Nurses who are responsible for co-ordinating and helping the doctors provide your care. They will provide regular support and advice for you and your family throughout your stay. You will meet them regularly during your time in hospital to discuss your progress, your future plans and any concerns you may have.

        When will I start my rehabilitation?

        Although it may feel early to get moving after sustaining serious injuries, it is important to begin the rehabilitation process as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of recovery. The type and amount of rehabilitation you will have depends on your individual needs and the type of injuries that you have.

        You will probably meet members of the rehabilitation team soon after you have been admitted to hospital. This can happen as early as when on intensive care, or the day after you have been admitted.

        The rehabilitation team includes:

        • Rehabilitation Coordinator.
        • Head injury Nurse Specialist.
        • Physiotherapists.
        • Occupational therapists.
        • Dieticians.
        • Clinical psychologists.
        • Speech and language therapists.
        • Neuropsychologists.

        You may meet one, a few, or all of the team depending on your needs.

          What Services are available at RSCH to support me and my family/friends?

          Legal support

          While you are in hospital you or your family may require legal support services for a number of reasons. At the Royal Sussex County Hospital you can access a legal clinic that provides support and assistance in guiding you to appropriate legal and / or other support services. The first consultation is free. The legal clinic commonly deals with concerns with:

          • sick pay.
          • benefits.
          • finding appropriate support.
          • compensation claims.
          • Claims against insurance.

          To arrange an appointment with the legal team please ask your ward nurses to arrange this with the trauma practitioners, or call to make an appointment directly on is this 07788 398209.

          Emotional and psychological support

          It is normal to have many different emotional reactions after experiencing a traumatic event. Some of these can be feelings of:

          • shock.
          • fear and anxiety.
          • flashbacks.
          • nightmares.
          • feeling irritable or low in mood.

          There are also many others. For further information please visit the After Trauma website for more details about emotions and feelings after trauma.

          We have a clinical psychologist who works with the trauma team at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. If you feel that it would be helpful to talk to them while you are in hospital please ask your nursing team about this. The psychologist can also provide support for family, friends and carers as required.

            Support after a brain injury

            If you have an injury to your brain you will probably be referred to our specialist head injury nurse. This specialist can give you advice and education around your injury and how to manage in the future. The specialist runs an outpatient clinic to make sure patients are followed up after discharge. Outpatient appointment details will be sent to you in the post.

              Can my family come and see me?

              Yes. The hospital allows visitors during certain times of day; we kindly ask that a maximum of 2 visitors come at any one time. Visiting times are generally 3pm to 8pm. In special circumstances permission to visit outside these times can be given by the nurse in charge of the ward. Please ask your nurse what the visiting times are for the ward you are on. You can note the visiting time for your ward below.

                How can they get here?

                The following buses stop outside the hospital on Eastern Road: 1, 1A, 7, N7, 14, 14C, 23, 27C, 37, 37B, 47, 52, 57, 71, 73, 94A, 271 and 272.

                You will find a taxi rank in Paston Place opposite the main hospital entrance. There is a free taxi phone near the reception desk in the main entrance of the Barry Building.

                The nearest train station is Brighton, which is a 40-minute walk from the hospital.

                The car park is situated next to the Millenium building immediately after the A&E entrance. There is limited short-term on-street pay-anddisplay parking in the vicinity of the hospital. We recommend that your visitors use public transport where possible.

                  This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.

                  The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.

                  Publication Date: August 2019

                  Review Date: December 2022

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