Law firms join forces to launch Major Trauma Group

A new national service will assist people affected by major trauma and raise awareness of issues faced by patients.

The new Major Trauma Group has been established by four of the UK’s leading law firms and the Brain Injury Group in collaboration with medical clinicians. The Group will help people affected by major trauma across the country, and ensure they are fully supported in their rehabilitation journey through integrated legal, health and social care pathways to recovery.

Members will also raise awareness of and provide solutions to important issues facing major trauma centres and their patients, working in collaboration with NHS stakeholders and academics. Issues include the desperate need for a review of the Injury Cost Recovery Scheme and the current shortfall in services as a result of COVID-19. Patients have been found to have experienced delays to care and treatment in hospital, and access to many vital rehabilitation services have been denied. 

Over 10,000 people die following a major trauma injury every year in England and Wales. Whether from a car accident, fall or violence, major trauma injuries remain the main cause of death for people under 45 in the UK. Major trauma patients who survive often have an ongoing need for specialist rehabilitations services post discharge, but limited knowledge of how to access the support. 

Many patients leave hospital without legal advice or access to adequate community rehabilitation follow up. A paper published in the Journal of Intensive Care Society highlighted that in 70% of major trauma centres patients fail to receive legal advice. The Group will be a source of information for these individuals, as well as directing them to appropriate legal services. 

Trevor Sterling, Chair of the Major Trauma Group, said: “COVID-19 has introduced unwelcome issues for people affected by major trauma and their families. From the closure of rehabilitation services to the upset of not being able to see family whilst in hospital, the care and rehabilitation for these individuals with serious, long-term conditions has been impacted. 

“Pre-covid patients also experienced challenges. The Government’s Injury Cost Recovery Scheme, the means by which NHS hospitals claim funding from insurance companies, has not kept up with the expensive cost of recovery. This means that it is common practice that the NHS has to cover this shortfall in funding. 

“We are proud to be launching The Major Trauma Group; the first venture of its kind where lawyers and medical professionals will work together for people affected by major trauma. The Major Trauma Group will ensure that no patient goes without the legal and rehabilitation support they require and that patients’ opinions on issues that affect their care and rehabilitation are heard by decision-makers.”