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Major Trauma Centre

UHNM's Major Trauma Centre was created in 2012 and is one of the best in the country, serving a population of nearly three million people and stretching from Anglesey to the Peak District. The service opened a bespoke Acute Rehabilitation & Trauma Unit​ at Royal Stoke in 2016 and works within the North West Midlands and North Wales Trauma Network, supporting five trauma units and three local emergency hospitals.

When anyone is seriously injured in incidents such as vehicle collisions, falls, or assaults, they are taken either directly to Royal Stoke or transferred from our partner trauma units within the network. They arrive by helicopter or land ambulance and are greeted by a consultant-led trauma team. This includes a consultant in emergency medicine, who works with specialists in orthopaedic and general surgery. They have rapid access to our full range of consultant surgeons and interventional radiologists for management of life threatening bleeding.

Our partner hospitals in Crewe, Shrewsbury and North Wales and our three ambulance services have all contributed to the excellent standard of care. The other important parts of the system, such as the Acute Rehabilitation and Trauma Unit (ARTU)​, mean that we can provide severely injured patients with early specialist rehabilitation in an optimal environment. It can also cater for patients with other serious injuries, particularly when they involve multiple parts of the body.

The major trauma service is the epitome of multi-disciplinary and multi-service working.

We have an excellent 24/7 service in Interventional Radiology, which has changed how we manage care since becoming a major trauma centre. Innovative practices such as chest wall stabilisation and rib fixation have been undertaken by our thoracic surgeons since September 2014, which has led to a marked improvement in patients sustaining multiple rib fracture. Read about the amazing story of Mr Ian ​Keller​, whose life was saved by revolutionary chest wall reconstruction following a horrific accident.

Lots of different teams come together to make up the Major Trauma Centre. 

Click on the links to find out more.

Accident and Emergency​​

Critical Care

ARTU (Acute Rehabilitation Trauma Unit)

UHNM (Royal Stoke University Hospital) is part of the North West Midlands and North Wales Trauma Network. The hospital serves a local population of 700,000 and acts as a tertiary centre for the wider population of three million in the North West Midlands and North Wales. Whilst most patients are brought in by land ambulance, air ambulances bring critically injured patients directly from the scene to the waiting trauma team. We work closely with a number of other hospitals to ensure we are able to give the best patient care possible.

The network comprises: 

Major Trauma Centres: 

  • Royal Stoke University Hospital

  • Birmingham Children's Hospital

Trauma Units:

  • Leighton Hospital

  • Glan Clwyd Hospital

  • Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital

  • Wrexham Maelor Hospital

  • Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Local Emergency Hospitals:

  • County Hospital, Stafford

  • Telford Hospital

Specialist Rehabilitation Unit:

  • Haywood Hospital

 Spinal Centre:

  • Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Hospital

Ian Keller

UHNM's major trauma team saved 69-year-old grandfather Ian Keller (centre) after he suffered a horrific accident. He and his wife Vivienne were enjoying a day-trip on a barge when Mr Keller fell into the water and got sucked into the spinning propeller blade. The propeller cut through the right-side of his chest and arm, causing multiple injuries including damage to his ribcage and a hole the size of a football to his chest. Expert clinicians at Royal Stoke performed revolutionary chest wall reconstruction and fitted titanium plates to support his rib cage. Mr Keller not only survived but made rapid progress, being discharged from hospital less than a month later.​

The case received extensive coverage in the local and regional press.


Graham Bickerton​

57 year-old Graham Bickerton is a patient on ARTU, the Trust's Acute Rehabilitation and Trauma Unit. He was brought to UHNM by air ambulance following a motorbike crash on 7 April 2017. Following the accident, he sadly lost the bottom part of his left leg.

Graham said: "The care has been absolutely stunning. I can't thank the staff here enough. It has been a very difficult time for one stage I stopped eating, but they got me back again. They are fantastic.

"I will be here another few weeks while I learn to walk again. To begin with I will be in a wheelchair, then I will go to a zimmer frame, then I will be having a prosthetic leg. Hopefully all that will happen before I go on holiday in August. It is not a surprise to me that this centre has been ranked the best in the country."

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