Objective: To explore views of service providers caring for injured people on: the extent to which services meet patients’ needs and their perspectives on factors contributing to any identified gaps in service provision.
Design: Qualitative study nested within a quantitative multicentre longitudinal study assessing longer term impact of unintentional injuries in working age adults. Sampling frame for service providers was based on patient-reported service use in the quantitative study, patient interviews and advice of previously injured lay research advisers. Service providers’ views were elicited through semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Setting: Participants were recruited from a range of settings and services in acute hospital trusts in four study centres (Bristol, Leicester, Nottingham and Surrey) and surrounding areas.
Participants: 40 service providers from a range of disciplines.
Results: Service providers described two distinct models of trauma care: an ‘ideal’ model, informed by professional knowledge of the impact of injury and awareness of best models of care, and a ‘real’ model based on the realities of National Health Service (NHS) practice. Participants’ ‘ideal’ model was consistent with standards of high-quality effective trauma care and while there were examples of services meeting the ideal model, ‘real’ care could also be fragmented and inequitable with major gaps in provision. Service provider accounts provide evidence of comprehensive understanding of patients’ needs, awareness of best practice, compassion and research but reveal significant organisational and resource barriers limiting implementation of knowledge in practice.
Conclusions: Service providers envisage an ‘ideal’ model of trauma care which is timely, equitable, effective and holistic, but this can differ from the care currently provided. Their experiences provide many suggestions for service improvements to bridge the gap between ‘real’ and ‘ideal’ care. Using service provider views to inform service design and delivery could enhance the quality, patient experience and outcomes of care.