The Victorian healthcare system provides services that are specifically designed to provide urgent trauma care for adults and children. These services respond quickly to major trauma events.
These are events that involve serious, traumatic injury that leads to more than 24 hours in a hospital emergency department. These events are called ‘major trauma’ events or accidents to distinguish them from trauma incidents that have less serious outcomes.
Major Trauma Services
Major trauma services (MTS) provide specialised care to major trauma patients, both on-the-spot through liaising with the paramedics who respond to the scene, and in specialised trauma hospitals once people are transferred there by ambulance. Major trauma services provide the top level of trauma care in the Victorian State Trauma System.
The designated adult MTS in Victoria are:
The designated paediatric MTS is:
After a major trauma incident in a metropolitan area, most patients will undergo an assessment by the ambulance crew, based on the extent and kind of injury they have. This is called being triaged, and may involve communication with an MTS. Ambulance services will then take the patient by road or air ambulance to an MTS that is appropriate for their injuries.
Metropolitan Trauma Services (MeTS)
Metropolitan trauma services (MeTS) provide second level adult or adult and paediatric trauma care. This means that they:
- are equipped to receive major trauma patients who are unable to be triaged directly to an MTS
- will transfer such patients to an MTS as soon as possible.
They can also continue to provide treatment to a small number of major trauma cases under certain conditions.
The following are MeTS hospitals for adult patients only:
The following are MeTS hospitals for both adults and children:
Metropolitan Primary Care Services (MPCS)
Metropolitan Primary Care Services (MPCS) provide the third level of trauma care in Melbourne (the lowest designated level) for adults and children. They are ranked at this level because they have limited resources for trauma resuscitation, or because a higher-level trauma service is close by.
Usually, major trauma patients will be taken to other hospitals with a higher level trauma designation, rather than an MPCS. However, MPCSs do manage a small number of major trauma patients who take themselves to hospital (this is called self-presenting). They are expected to transfer these patients to an MTS as soon as possible.
The MPCSs in Melbourne are:
Regional trauma services
Victoria's regional and rural (country-based) trauma services respond to serious incidents requiring urgent medical attention in areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne.
Regional trauma services are located in major regional centres and receive appropriate referrals from surrounding catchment areas.
Locations of regional and rural trauma services are shown on health.vic.gov.au.
Resuscitation, stabilisation and transportation
Rural and regional trauma services provide resuscitation and stabilisation of major trauma patients. They also organise patient transport to an MTS such as the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Alfred or the Royal Children's Hospital.
Patient transfer to an MTS is provided through Ambulance Victoria via air or road ambulance. Adult Retrieval Victoria (ARV) is part of Ambulance Victoria and provides clinical coordination, retrieval and critical care services.
Rural and regional trauma services may also provide complete care in a rural or regional healthcare service for a limited number of trauma patients whose injuries are assessed as not requiring a transfer to an MTS. This assessment is done in agreement with Ambulance Victoria or with an MTS.
Read more about emergency, crisis and support services.
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health & Human Services shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.