Neurosurgery move could see more patients treated in Sussex

Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre ENGSUS00120121112165149
Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre ENGSUS00120121112165149
  • Neurosurgery is being moved from Hurstwood Park in Haywards Heath
  • Specialists will work from Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton
  • Health bosses say the move will bring ‘key emergency services together’

A hospital trust is getting ready to move neurosurgery from Hurstwood Park, run by the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, to Royal Sussex County Hospital.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said the move, which will take place on June 19,20 and 21, will bring ‘key emergency services together under one roof’ as part the hospital’s Major Trauma Centre status.

The trust hopes the change will mean 350 more patients every year will be treated in Sussex instead of being referred to London hospitals.

Matthew Kershaw, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust, announced the dates in a weekly newsletter.

He said: “This is one of the most complex changes to the way we work we have ever undertaken and as part of this work, we took delivery of our new Bi Planar XRay Angiography Machine; a piece of kit which will allow us to provide the gold standard in imaging modality for diagnosing and treating patients with suspected neurovascular damage.

“Change is never easy and involves a constant weighing up of benefit and risk but there is no question that the benefits of these moves massively outweigh the challenges; and they will ultimately improve the quality of all the services involved and of the treatment and care we provide to many thousands of our patients.”

Dr Jonathan Andrews, consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead for the Sussex Major Trauma Centre said: “Swiftly taking patients with complex or multiple injuries to the highly-skilled and experienced trauma clinicians working in the Major Trauma Centre saves lives.

“We treat about 500 major trauma patients a year through the Major Trauma Centre and the missing piece in this jigsaw of expert care is neurosurgery.”

The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton has been the Major Trauma Centre for Sussex since April 2012. But patients who suffer major trauma or a head injury in an accident are usually taken to hospital in London for treatment.

The trust hopes the change will mean 350 more patients every year will be treated in Sussex instead of being referred to London hospitals.

Speaking in January, a spokeswoman for the trust said: “Ambulance service staff are highly experienced at making the right judgement.

“If a patient needs to be stabilised quickly, they will be taken to the nearest local trauma unit for immediate treatment.

“They will then be transferred to the Major Trauma Centre at Brighton when it is safe and clinically appropriate.”

The trust has plans to build a helipad for the air ambulance and a purpose-built neuroscience department as part of the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s redevelopment – scheduled to open in 2019.

The changes will also mean BSUH patients who suffer breaks or fractures in their thigh bone near the hip will soon be treated solely at the Princess Royal.

Hurstwood Park will continue to play an important role for neurosciences, particularly for Mid Sussex patients.

Outpatient appointments, diagnostics and other work will continue to be provided there as part of the services provided by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust across its two main sites.

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