Edinburgh lifesaving roadside trauma team scrapped as 'no longer sustainable'

medic one
-Credit: (Image: Edinburgh Emergency Medicine/Creative Commons License.)

A lifesaving NHS crack team giving advanced treatment to major trauma patients on the roadside has been scrapped.

Medic One has provided pre-hospital emergency care for major trauma patients for over four decades. However, staff have been told it will be discontinued from Monday (July 1).

In a letter to workers seen by Edinburgh Live, the director of NHS Lothian states that due to advancement in training, Medic One is "no longer sustainable, nor equitable to other parts of Scotland and the UK."

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The letter states the Scottish Ambulance Service has begun a commissioning exercise to develop a new pre-hospital service to cover the East and South-East of Scotland with more details expected later in the year.

The Edinburgh Emergency Medicine website credits Medic One in south east Scotland for not only saving many lives but also helping trauma patients survive with a meaningful quality of life.

Medic One, which served Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders for 44 years, provided medical equipment and drugs similar to those used in emergency rooms - allowing the team to undertake advanced medical care at the scene. They also helped those in need of care who cannot wait to be transported to the emergency room.

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The health board's Medical Director Tracey Gillies confirmed Medic One's service model is "no longer sustainable" and stated the change will allow colleagues to "better manage the sustained pressure on our emergency department."

Dr Gillies said: "With significant advancements in pre-hospital Emergency Medicine and the Royal Infirmary's role as a major regional trauma centre, the current Medic One service model is no longer sustainable.

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"This change brings us in line with the rest of Scotland and allows our teams to better manage the sustained pressure on our Emergency Department without removing a staffing resource from the department for several hours at a time. The Medic One Charitable Trust will continue to exist to support the development and training of Emergency Medicine staff."