New trauma patient passport helps patients and families through recovery

Trauma is usually sudden and unexpected. Whether a result of a road accident, a fall, or a violent attack, most  trauma patients will not have anticipated their hospital visit.

Following major injury, hospital stays can be distressing, long and complicated. For every death from trauma, three to four people are left with life-limiting conditions including physical disabilities, loss of limbs and chronic pain.

Seriously injured patients from all over North East London are brought to The Royal London Hospital which is the area’s designated Major Trauma Centre. The hospital sees around 3,000 trauma patients each year, making it one of the UK’s busiest trauma centres which has an international reputation for its care.

A new trauma patient passport will help to provide information for patients and help to prepare them for their time in hospital and beyond.

“We want to achieve a gold standard of care for trauma patients,” says Bex Boxall (pictured), a Trauma Nurse Coordinator on the AfterTrauma team who introduced the passport.

Barts Charity trauma passport

 “Trauma patients often have multiple injuries and therefore multiple teams involved in their care, this can sometimes be confusing for them. Our trauma patients will be given a lot of information from visiting teams and this can feel overwhelming. Trauma is a sudden event for patients and their families and information has to be helpful, honest and informative."

The passport will improve care for trauma patients by giving them all the written information they need in one place - verbal information is often tricky to remember when patients are stressed and injured. A lot of the information is to support families who may not be local to the hospital, giving them details of local hotels and transport options. 

“We wanted a place for patients to keep their information for themselves and their relatives that they could then take to their GP, their local hospital or rehabilitation service,” says Bex.

Barts Charity trauma passport 2

At the back of the passport is a folder for patients to store the numerous sheets of personalised medical information they are given, so they can keep this safe throughout their trauma journey including future follow-ups. This will aid communication between services and specialties, something which can be challenging for these patients.

The passport has several blank pages for patients to note down any questions, thoughts and feelings, acknowledging the psychological impact that a traumatic injury can have. It also allows the AfterTrauma team, as care providers, to see what the patient is feeling, and what areas they need to focus on.

The passport for major trauma patients and a leaflet for those with less severe injuries were funded with a small project grant from Barts Charity.

Our trauma appeal is aiming to raise £1 million for trauma care and research at the Royal London Hospital and its research partner, the Centre for Trauma Sciences.

Support our trauma appeal