In England alone there are at least 20,000 cases of major trauma each year resulting in 5,400 deaths and many others resulting in permanent disabilities requiring long-term care. There are around a further 28,000 cases which, although not meeting the precise definition of major trauma, would be cared for in the same way.
Major trauma costs the NHS between £0.3 and £0.4 billion a year in immediate treatment, but when considering the costs of subsequent hospital treatments, rehabilitation, home care support, informal carer costs and the annual lost economic output as a result of major trauma is estimated to be between £3.3 and £3.7 billion (National Audit Office, Major Trauma Care in England, 2010).
Neurotrauma alone - including mild traumatic brain injury, which does not fit into the definition of major trauma - is the leading cause of death and disability in the first 4 decades of life and is estimated to cost the UK economy £8 billion a year (more than stroke). Many countries around the world now recognise the importance of trauma research to their health care systems and are developing specialist research programmes of to meet the growing needs of their population. This expansion in specialist clinical provision is generating demand for professionals with a recognised background of trauma sciences training.
The overall aim of the programme is to enable exploration of the theoretical basis of trauma science in general with a route to particular specialisms depending on the cohort need. For example, there are clear paths of specialism for Physiotherapists, Nurses, Doctors, Engineers, Scientists and Military personnel.
Using the process of scientific reasoning as its framework, the programme will integrate the key issues central to the theoretical aspects in these specialist areas with communication skills, management approaches, timely and reasoned decision making, identification of treatment options, best practice etc.
You will have the opportunity to tailor your learning experiences and backgrounds to meet your own personal and professional needs. You will also have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills within a multidisciplinary setting that cares for trauma-afflicted patients. Enquiry-, evidence-based learning will be a key feature of the programme through problem based learning and journal clubs. In addition, you will have the opportunity to take part in a substantive research project, allowing you to develop research skills, project management, oral/poster presentation and writing a research dissertation. Research projects may be undertaken in an academic laboratory or can be in a clinical setting.