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Reducing trauma deaths focus of new partnership

National Trauma Network
09 April 2019

The Health Quality & Safety Commission is partnering with ACC and the Major Trauma National Clinical Network, with a focus on reducing trauma deaths. The main cause of major trauma is road traffic crashes and falls, followed by assaults.

The purpose of the network, which was established in 2012 is to develop a consistent way of managing cases of serious trauma across New Zealand. This includes how patients are treated before they arrive in hospital, while they are there, and while they rehabilitate after discharge.

Dr Ian Civil, the National Clinical Lead for Trauma, says that by focusing on the most severely injured people, we can expect improvements for all injured patients.

'Every year in New Zealand an estimated 1,800 people die from trauma, and mostly before they get to a hospital. On average, a further 2,000 people are admitted to hospital with major trauma. For those that survive, their injuries can have a profound and lasting impact on their life.

'Injured people have the best chance of making a good recovery if the trauma system performs well. A well performing trauma system will lead to lower death rates, reduced lifelong disability, and cost savings to the health system.

'For example, the sooner an injured person gets to hospital, the better their chance of survival. A well performing trauma system gets someone to hospital quickly, and to the hospital best able to care for them, so they don’t have to be transferred.'

The partnership work will include:

  • quality improvement across the trauma system, to create a system that learns and evolves 
  • analytics and research so work is data-driven and based on evidence 
  • a long-term outcomes survey to help understand how injured people cope at home so they can be better supported in their recovery.

The partnership between the Commission, ACC and the network is for five years.

For more information see