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Our major trauma service what happens next

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What happens once my injuries no longer require the specialist skills of the Major Trauma Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital?

Repatriation: Returning to your local hospital

If you don’t live in the Brighton and Hove area, and are not able to go directly home, you may be referred back to your local trauma unit. Once this has been agreed between the two hospitals, you should be transferred within 48 hours.

The move allows you to complete your medical treatment and plan your ongoing rehabilitation closer to home. If you live outside the Sussex Trauma Network (for example in other counties or overseas) we will make arrangements for you to transfer to your local and most appropriate hospital.

Why will rehabilitation help me?

It is likely that you will need some form of rehabilitation to help you recover from your injuries. You may find some things much harder than you used to. Rehabilitation can be physical or cognitive (brain) depending on your needs.

Rehabilitation takes the form of specific exercises and new challenges which gradually build your abilities and confidence back up to the level they were before, or as close to that as possible.

Your rehabilitation, both in hospital and out of hospital, will be guided by the trauma therapy team. It will depend on how much or little your injuries have impacted upon your normal function. You will usually be given exercises to do while you are in hospital and it may be necessary for you to go to a specific place for rehabilitation after your medical care has finished. Our MDT (multi-disciplinary team) will talk with you about the best place for your rehabilitation.

If you would like to hear about other people’s experiences of rehabilitation, follow this link to the HealthTalk website.  HealthTalk is a charity that describes real people’s experiences of aspects of their health.

    What sort of rehabilitation will I have?

    Rehabilitation can be provided in different ways and in different places. This depends on the level of rehabilitation you will require.

    Some examples of rehabilitation include:

    • Specialised rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury or serious brain injury which meant that you were unconscious for a long time. This takes place outside Sussex.
    • If you have had a brain injury, you may be referred to a local in-patient specialist neurological rehabilitation. This includes the Sussex Rehabilitation Centre in Haywards Heath. In-patient means that you would stay in hospital for this.
    • Local in-patient non-neurological rehabilitation such as the many intermediate care units across Sussex. An intermediate care unit is a place where you will stay for a short period of time to allow you to build up your confidence and strength before you return home.
    • Rehabilitation at home provided by local community teams. They will support you at home after you are discharged and provide you with your rehabilitation there.
    • Out-patient rehabilitation such as local physiotherapy services, where you travel to a local clinic for an appointment. There are many local outpatient physiotherapy locations across Sussex.

      Where will my rehabilitation plan be written down?

      Your rehabilitation needs should be discussed with you and written down in a form called your Rehabilitation Prescription. This form should explain what you need from rehabilitation and the services that you have been referred to.

      If you have any questions about your rehabilitation after you have left the Royal Sussex County Hospital, please ask the Rehabilitation Coordinator or Major Trauma Nurse. You will find their contact details on your rehabilitation prescription. If you have not received a copy of your rehabilitation prescription before you leave the hospital please ask.

      Out-patient appointments

      You may need to return to the Royal Sussex County Hospital after you have been discharged for any follow-up appointment with the doctors. Information about any follow ups you need may be written on your medical discharge summary which will be handed to you before you leave hospital.

      If you have not received a follow up appointment letter in the post within 3 weeks of you being discharged from hospital please contact the Booking Centre on the number 0300 303 8360.

        How can I give feedback about my care?

        All patients admitted following trauma are currently being asked to take part in the Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) questionnaires. The questionnaire asks patients about their health before and after an operation or treatment and recovery.

        We would be grateful if you could complete a questionnaire. The feedback we receive from you will help us to understand our patients’ priorities and improve our services. The PROMS questionnaire will be provided and explained to you by the Major Trauma Nurses.

          Patient advice and liaison service (PALS):

          PALS provide information about services both here at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust and other organisations.

          They can:

          • liaise with departments within the hospital on your behalf.
          • listen to any concerns you may have and help to resolve them.

          You can contact them by phone: Royal Sussex County Hospital: 01273 664511 or 01273 664973.

          Princess Royal Hospital: 01444 448678

          Post: PALS, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE.

            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: March 2023

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