Background: The aim of this paper is to outline the development of 'A Trauma Plan for Queensland'. Injury is one of Australia's National Health Priorities. The full impact of injury, including early death, reduction in quality of life and the social and emotional costs to individuals and the community are immeasurable. The direct health-care costs alone amounted to A dollars 4.13 bn in 2000-2001. Queensland has one of the highest rates of injury in Australia. An estimated 1500 Queenslanders die each year as a result of major traumatic injury and it is the single most common cause of death between the ages of 1 and 35 years.
Methods: The Queensland Trauma Plan was based on a detailed analysis of the management and outcome of trauma in Queensland and used an extensive process of stakeholder consultation to identify proposals for system improvement. Sequential workshops helped identify the issues and strategies for system improvement. These proposals were condensed into a high-level strategic plan, which has now been endorsed by the Queensland Government.
Results: The Trauma Plan identifies service enhancements and the improved coordination required to support ongoing policy development, research and education. The Plan outlines a future direction for the development of trauma services and the system and structures required to support that development.
Conclusion: The Trauma Plan holds potential as a model for the development of future trauma services and injury prevention programmes. The process shows the value of engagement of clinicians and others into the policy development and planning processes. The outcome reinforces the value of taking a whole of community, coordinated and collaborative approach to injury prevention and management.