16 November 2001

A University of Queensland-led research team has been commissioned to develop the state’s first comprehensive Trauma Plan on the strength of a three-year $654,000 grant from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Dr Michele Clark, a Senior Research Fellow within UQ’s School of Population Health and Director of the Australian Centre for Pre-Hospital Research, will head a collaborative team of stakeholders across Queensland’s health and emergency services.

Together they will develop a comprehensive response solution to major trauma situations, taking into account Queensland’s distinctive geography and weather conditions, the impact of remote isolation, and the organisation of our health and emergency services.

Dr Clark said a strategic investigation of Queensland’s multi-service response to emergency situations was both timely and important.

“A formal investigation of this kind has never before been undertaken in Queensland,” she said.

“Several other states have developed Trauma Plans—and we’ll certainly be looking at those—but Queensland’s needs and circumstances warrant specific investigation.

“While it could be said that we generally handle traumas quite effectively, are we employing the best possible system? How can we ensure that we get the right patient to the right hospital in the right amount of time?”

Dr Clark said her team’s success in winning the grant owed much to the high-level support it had secured across the state. Key stakeholders include Queensland’s health, police and transport departments, the Queensland Ambulance Service, the Coroner’s Office, QComp, the Australian Army and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Among Dr Clark’s fellow researchers will be Dr Desley Kassulke (Queensland Trauma Registry), Dr Cliff Pollard (Royal Australian College of Surgeons), Dr Gerry FitzGerald (Ambulance) and UQ’s Professor Nick Bellamy and Associate Professor Rod McClure.

“Everyone involved is very enthusiastic about the project and all agree it is a vitally important initiative for Queensland,” Dr Clark said.
For further information, please contact Michele Clark (telephone 07 3247 8331, mobile 0419 683 707) or Carrie Schofield (telephone 073346 4713).