The emergency department at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg has been accredited as a level 3 trauma centre by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA), becoming the first private trauma facility in the city to be endorsed in this way.
“The emergency department at the hospital has been providing an essential service to the community for a number of years. The hospital’s management, doctors and staff have made a tremendous effort to ensure that the trauma centre meets the strict requirements of the TSSA inspection teams and its accreditation is richly deserved,” says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI.
“The accreditation provides the community and emergency services personnel with the assurance that they can access quality trauma and emergency medical care at the Netcare St Anne’s Hospital emergency department. It is pleasing that this recognition comes ahead of the holiday season, which is always a busy time for our emergency departments in the province,” notes Toubkin.
TSSA accreditation requires that trauma facilities and emergency departments be equipped to set standards, and staffed by appropriately qualified emergency doctors and nursing personnel. It also ensures that patients who have suffered more complex multiple trauma injuries can be promptly transferred to a higher level trauma facility within the region should that be necessary.
According to Toubkin, the emergency department at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital is the first private facility of its kind in Pietermaritzburg, and the fourth Netcare emergency department in KwaZulu-Natal to be accredited as trauma centres by the TSSA, and the facility has started working towards achieving level 1 accreditation.
She says that all of Netcare’s emergency departments – both nationally and within KZN – have either achieved, or are working towards accreditation. Earlier this year, Netcare uMhlanga Hospital was accredited as a level 2 trauma centre, and Netcare Alberlito and Netcare Kingsway hospitals both achieved level 3 accreditation.
Netcare St Anne’s Hospital’s current level 3 accreditation means that it can provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, basic emergency operations and the stabilisation of patients. It also requires standardised treatment protocols and established early transfer systems to be in place.
“The TSSA has been conducting a nationwide process of accrediting trauma centres within both the private and public healthcare sectors in South Africa over the last number of years. “The goal of the initiative is to create a comprehensive trauma system whereby patients can be promptly treated at a trauma centre that is best placed to treat their specific injuries. International studies have shown that such a trauma system improves medical outcomes and can even save lives,” she notes.
“Trauma injuries remain a cause of much physical, emotional and social disruption in the lives of those who are affected. Netcare is therefore strongly supporting the TSSA’s efforts to create an effective national system to treat trauma and emergency patients through the accreditation of treatment facilities.
“One of the advantages of this initiative is that it requires emergency departments and trauma facilities to assess their systems for the care of seriously injured individuals and, where necessary, improve these in order to achieve accreditation.
“In addition, accredited facilities must report the outcomes of the treatment of their patients to the TSSA on an on-going basis. This enables paramedics and other emergency staff to take patients to the closest and best performing centres which are most appropriate for the particular injuries sustained. This has the goal of strengthening the entire trauma system within the province and throughout the country.”
Toubkin says levels 1 and 2 accreditation certifies that an emergency department has the necessary levels of expertise and equipment to treat all kinds and levels of emergency cases including high priority and potentially life-threatening P1 emergencies, polytrauma cases, as well as medical emergencies involving children.
“Level 1 facilities differ from level 2 centres only in that they are required to also have community education programmes in place. Netcare Milpark and Netcare Union hospitals, both of which are situated in Gauteng, are currently the only level 1 facilities within the private sector in South Africa. However, besides Netcare St Anne’s Hospital, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town is also working to achieve level 1 accreditation.”
Netcare St Anne’s Hospital general manager, Louis Joubert, says that the facility’s emergency department has always been dedicated to providing quality services to the people of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.
“The dedicated staff and doctors at our emergency department have worked tirelessly to ensure that they met the stringent TSSA requirements. The accreditation provides our patients with the assurance of a high level of service and expertise, and we would like to thank all of those who made it possible,” he concludes.
Notes to editors
Netcare emergency departments accredited by the Trauma Society of South Africa
Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Kuils River Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Milpark Hospital – Level 1
Netcare Union Hospital – Level 1
Netcare Sunninghill Hospital – Level 2
Netcare Garden City Hospital – Level 2
Netcare Unitas Hospital – Level 2
Netcare Linksfield Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Olivedale Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Waterfall City Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Krugersdorp Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Pinehaven Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Pretoria East Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Montana Hospital – Level 3
Netcare uMhlanga Hospital – Level 2
Netcare Alberlito Hospital – Level 3
Netcare Kingsway Hospital – Level 3
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare
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