First private facility in KZN to achieve Level I trauma accreditation officially opened
Netcare St Anne’s Hospital accreditation “an outstanding achievement”
Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg’s recent accreditation as a Level I trauma centre by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA) has bolstered emergency medical care services considerably, not only in the Natal Midlands but also in the greater KwaZulu-Natal region.
Speaking on the occasion of the official launch of the recently upgraded facility, Craig Murphy, regional director of Netcare’s coastal region, commented: “This is a memorable day for Netcare St Anne’s Hospital, which has become the first private facility in KwaZulu-Natal and one of only three private facilities in South Africa to achieve this remarkable feat.”
“Netcare and Netcare St Anne’s Hospital are delighted that their efforts and investment have resulted in them meeting the stringent TSSA level I accreditation requirements. We congratulate all of those involved in achieving the accreditation, and particularly the practice of trauma surgeons comprising Professor Damian Clarke, Dr John Bruce, Dr Vassil Manchev and Dr Ian Donkin. We also wish to thank the Netcare national trauma team under the aegis of Mande Toubkin for their considerable support in ensuring that the accreditation came to fruition.”
“Barely a month has passed since the accreditation and it has already proved life-saving for many patients involved in accidents and other medical emergencies in the region. Since the hospital became accredited as a Level I trauma centre, the number of patients who were brought to the hospital for lifesaving care by emergency medical helicopter has increased by more than 300%, which emphasises the dire need for this highest level of trauma care.
“At the beginning of this month, apatient was electrocuted by a 22-kilowatt high voltage line in a remote part of the Eastern Cape. According to the patient’s employer, the closest ambulance would have taken more than four hours to get the seriously burned patient to the closest hospital from where he would have had to be transferred to another facility that was able to provide the level of treatment and care required,” he says.
“The employer said that thanks to the Netcare 911 helicopter emergency service [HEMS] and the Netcare St Anne’s Hospital’s expert trauma team, the employee’s life was certainly saved as he was stabilised and received life-saving treatment in the shortest time possible.”
According to Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI, the TSSA Level I accreditation is an outstanding accomplishment and an important development for trauma medicine in the province.
“Given Netcare’s commitment to improved trauma outcomes, the team at the hospital has worked in close collaboration with the TSSA and Netcare’s national trauma team to facilitate the accreditation. It is impressive to note that Netcare St Anne’s Hospital now joins the renowned Netcare Milpark and Netcare Union hospitals, situated in Johannesburg and Alberton respectively, as the country’s top TSSA-ranked private trauma facilities,” she adds.
Toubkin explains that the TSSA level I accreditation requirements require the ability to provide round-the-clock multi-disciplinary care to the most compromised trauma patients. In addition, the trauma facility should also be able to accept patients both via helicopteror road ambulance.
“Essentially, the Level I accreditation is an indication of the application of best practice and having the required skills and facilities in place to treat alllevels of trauma, including life-threatening Priority One patients with complex and/or multiple injuries.”
Professor Clarke, who is the academic head of the trauma system in the region, stated that the TSSA accreditation requirements are strict, stipulating that the facility is equipped to specific standards, is staffed by appropriately qualified and trained emergency doctors and nursing personnel, and that a trauma surgeon is available 24/7 to coordinate the multi-disciplinary team that is required to treat complex cases. A Level I facility is also required to have an educational trauma prevention programme in place.
“Netcare believes that the trauma system being implemented by the TSSA nationally in both the private and public sectors will ultimately reduce mortality and improve survival rates in patients seen in these centres. This is supported by Netcare’s Medibank statistics,” adds Toubkin.
“The accreditation resonates with our focus at Netcare on delivering person centred health and care, which aims to ensure that each individual receives clinical treatment tailored to their condition and unique circumstances and are cared for with skill, respect and compassion.”
“A total of 25 Netcare emergency departments are already TSSA accredited, and we are continuing to work towards accreditation for the remainder of our emergency departments,” adds Toubkin.
She says that accredited Netcare trauma centres in KwaZulu-Natal include: Netcare St Anne’s Hospital – Level I, Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital – Level II, Netcare uMhlanga Hospital – Level II, Netcare Alberlito Hospital – Level III, Netcare The Bay Hospital – Level III and Netcare Kingsway Hospital – Level III.