ROYAL Shrewsbury Hospital will become home to a trauma unit which could save 40 lives each year.

The hospital will house the unit as part of a new regional set-up for treating people with serious injuries.

Health chiefs say the move will benefit people in Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Mark Prescott, emergency medicine consultant at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Establishing a trauma unit in Shrewsbury will allow us to make sure seriously injured patients can get the right life-saving care as quickly as possible.

“It is all about providing the best possible emergency service.

“Seriously injured patients will be brought to us and received by a consultant-led team for resuscitation and then either treated here or transferred onto a major trauma centre as their condition dictates.

“This decision is a reflection of the work that has already been done here to develop a robust trauma team system.”

Currently patients with the most serious injuries are taken to major trauma centres in Stoke on Trent and Birmingham where the most specialised care is available.

For children it is the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

It is hoped the new unit in Shrewsbury will help to save between 25 and 40 lives each year.

Mr Prescott added: “There is still some work to be done to ensure we continue to meet the new standards, but this service will be a benefit to the whole area.

“We serve a population spread over large geographical area, many of whom live some distance away from the major trauma centres and there is a clear need for an outpost trauma unit here.”

Patients who need immediate resuscitation, or who cannot be taken directly to a major trauma centre, will be taken to local trauma units like the one in Shrewsbury.

Patients with serious injuries brought to the hospital will be received by a consultant led trauma team with rapid access to a CT scanner and the operating theatre.

Some patients will remain at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital but others will be stabilised and taken to a major trauma centre.