Welcome to The NHS Sussex Trauma Network.

Major Trauma kills 14 people each day in England and is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 40. Thousands more are left with lasting disabilities. The NHS has begun tackling this by reshaping and coordinating care for the most seriously injured. Since their establishment in 2010 Major trauma networks have been central to the improvement in how many people survive major trauma incidents.

Results from the national audit by TARN (Trauma Audit and Research Network – see more info on TARN here) show that after the introduction of Regional Major Trauma Networks, an increased number of patients now survive from their severe injuries than would have done before the trauma networks were introduced in England in 2012.

The TARN analysis suggests that the odds of a major trauma patient surviving in NHS England are 63 per cent better in 2015 than in 2008. It also shows a significant seven-year improvement trend.

Prior to the introduction of the new Regional Major Trauma Networks (in the period 2008 to 2012) there had been no significant improvement in the odds of surviving from a major trauma. However, after the Trauma Networks were established in 2012, there was a 50 per cent increase in the odds of survival for trauma patients. The Networks enable the rapid and safe transfer of patients to designated Major Trauma Centres throughout the country. 

The Sussex Trauma Network is responsible for improving care for major trauma patients throughout the county; from Chichester in West Sussex; Rye in the East; and as far north as Crawley.


Trauma Network Map

Trauma Network Map

The Sussex Trauma Network brings together all those responsible for treating major trauma patients across the county of Sussex. Our aim is to improve the treatment provided to trauma patients so that fewer people die from incidents of trauma than in the past. We also work hard to rehabilitate trauma patients so that they have a better quality of life.

The Sussex Trauma Network has been set up to ensure that the patient receives the most appropriate care at the correct time. The Network is responsible for the care of major trauma patients in this region, and comprises of:

One Major Trauma Centre (MTC)

• Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH)

Three Trauma Units (TU)

• St. Richard’s Hospital, Chichester (part of WSHFT)
• Worthing Hospital (part of WSHFT)
• Conquest Hospital, Hastings (part of ESHT)

Two local emergency hospitals

• Eastbourne District General Hospital
• Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath

Two pre-hospital care providers:

• South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SECAmb)
• Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSS)

In addition the Sussex Trauma Network includes:

• A number of third sector healthcare providers
• Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WSHFT)
• East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT)
• Sussex Community NHS Trust
• Surrey & Sussex Commissioners

Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, is the Major Trauma Centre as it is the only hospital in the region to where the key specialities to treat major trauma are co-located. Depending on journey time and injury, patients can be transported directly to the Major Trauma Centre following on scene assessment, or may be transferred from a trauma unit following initial care and stabilisation. Trauma Units play a vital role in the initial resuscitation of major trauma patients. They may also be involved in the on-going care, specialist needs such as burns, and rehabilitation.

Trauma Units are located at Conquest Hospital, Hastings, Worthing Hospital and St Richards Hospital, while the Local Emergency Hospitals are at Eastbourne District General Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.


Trauma Network Support Team

There is a small support team in place to maintain the functionality of the network, and ensure that the key requirements of the network are being met.

The network support team is established as follows:

  • Network Chair – Dr Harry Walmsley
  • Network clinical lead – Dr Peter Westhead
  • Network manager – Barbara Rayner
  • Network Director of Rehabilitation – Karen Poole
  • Network education programme lead – Dr Emily McWhirter
  • Major Trauma Centre Clinical Lead – Magnus Nelson

To easiest way to contact someone from the network is via this email

The support team is hosted by Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and is based at their headquarters:

Sussex Trauma Network, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, St Mary’s Hall, Eastern Road, Brighton  BN2 5JJ

How do we know the trauma network is functioning?

There is an established programme of national reviews of all the trauma networks in England, run through NHS England. This programme externally reviews all elements of the trauma networks. The 2015 reports can be found below:

An amended programme will be undertaken during 2016 involving self assessment for the Major Trauma Centre and network, and a programme of reviews for the Trauma Units. Within Sussex the Local Emergency Hospitals will also be reviewed during 2016.