The emergency department at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal has been accredited as a Level 2 trauma centre by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA), becoming the first private facility in the province to be recognised in this way.
“This accreditation provides residents of, and visitors to, the region the assurance that they can access the highest levels of emergency medical care over the holiday season and beyond,” says Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI.
Photo: The emergency department at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital was recently awarded Level 2 accreditation by the Trauma Society of South Africa (TSSA). Celebrating the achievement are (from left to right): Marc van Heerden, general manager Netcare uMhlanga Hospital; Belinda Lenherdt, hospital nursing services manager; Dr Shaun Gottshhalk, emergency medicine specialist; Heidi Chetty, emergency department unit manager; Gary Paul, Netcare 911 regional operations manager; and Dr Bianca Visser, principle clinical manager of the Netcare uMhlanga Hospital emergency department.
“The Level 2 accreditation certifies that Netcare uMhlanga Hospital’s 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,” emphasises Toubkin.
“The TSSA accreditation processes are most rigorous, requiring an emergency department to be well equipped and staffed by qualified emergency doctors and nursing personnel,” she adds.
According to Toubkin, the TSSA has over the last number of years been conducting a nationwide process of accrediting trauma centres within both the private and public healthcare sectors in South Africa in order to facilitate patients being directed to the most appropriate and effective levels of emergency care available.
“The Netcare uMhlanga Hospital emergency department is only the third private facility in the province to be accredited by the TSSA. Recently Netcare Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti on the South Coast and Netcare Alberlito Hospital in Ballito on the North Coast have achieved Level 3 accreditation.
“With emergency departments at three Netcare coastal centres already accredited by the TSSA and a number of other Netcare facilities in the province preparing for accreditation, our emergency departments are well placed and ready for the holiday season. This is the busiest time of the year for our emergency units in the province, largely due to the influx of visitors to particularly its coastal regions, at this time of the year.”
The unit manager of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital’s emergency department, Heidi Chetty, who has some 20 years of experience in the field of emergency medicine including a two-year stint at a leading facility in Saudi Arabia, says that the management and staff of the hospital are very excited to have been awarded the TSSA accreditation.
“The doctors and staff in our emergency department have an immense passion for their work. We have worked hard to ensure that our emergency department meets the strict TSSA requirements and are committed to providing the best possible care to their patients and the communities we serve,” adds Chetty.
Toubkin explains that the TSSA is working towards the achievement of a trauma system in South Africa in which all hospital emergency departments are accredited as either Level 1, 2 or 3 trauma centres.
“Among the rationales for this grading system is that it encourages the best use of available resources and expertise. In addition, it assists in guiding paramedics and other emergency workers as to which the most appropriate hospital would be to treat their patient’s particular injuries.
“Such a verification system of emergency facilities has been shown internationally to encourage best practice, patient advocacy, patient safety and improved outcomes,” she says.
There are only two accredited Level 1 facilities within the private sector in South Africa, namely at Netcare Milpark Hospital and at Netcare Union Hospital, both of which are situated in Gauteng.
Netcare uMhlanga Hospital general manager, Marc van Heerden, said that the management and staff at the hospital are “immensely honoured” that its emergency department had been accredited by TSSA as a Level 2 trauma centre.
“We will, as always, be working closely with emergency services providers such as Netcare 911 to assist holidaymakers and members of the community over the holiday period,” he adds.
“We wish all of our residents and visitors a safe and blessed festive season. Whilst we encourage them to have fun and a wonderful holiday, we also urge them to be health and safety conscious at all times,” concludes Van Heerden.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare uMhlanga Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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