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St George’s Hospital Charity funds newly-published pioneering research

16th October 2019

St George’s Hospital Charity funds pioneering research exploring the impact of long-distance visiting in major trauma care in the UK.

The first study exploring the issue of long-distance visiting in major trauma care in the UK has now been published in the international scientific journal “Intensive and Critical Care Nursing” thanks to innovative research of Dr Tino Kulnik, Chris Brunker and Karynka Wulf. This research was proudly funded by St George’s Hospital Charity, as part of our commitment to supporting our hospitals and University to undertake pioneering research and invest in the training and development of hospital staff for the benefit of patients.

St George’s Hospital is one of the four major trauma centres in London and, as a result of the way that major trauma care has been structured in England; this means that it has very wide catchment area for its emergency department. Subsequently, there is an unexpected impact on many families who have to come from further afield to visit their sick relatives in hospital.

This collaborative research project, which began in 2015, found that major trauma patients who live at the border, or outside the catchment area, stay in hospital on average for three weeks. As patients need those close to them supporting them throughout this difficult time, families coming to visit the hospital can spend on average 3 hours 26 minutes per day travelling and an additional £403 on travel costs throughout their visits. Consequently, this long-distance visiting can put relatives of patients under considerable physical, emotional and financial strain.

In their investigation of the implications of service regionalisation on those who travel from far, Dr Tino Kulnik, Chris Brunker and Karynka Wulf found that generally, visitors were extremely appreciative of the care given by the staff. However, there were multiple areas that needed attention to improve their hospital experience including, car parking availability, information provision about amenities on site and accessibility of accommodation nearby the major trauma centre.

Dr Tino Kulnik stated that “We are absolutely delighted that – albeit a small project – the quality and importance of this study has been recognised for publication… We are grateful to the Charity for having funded this study, which would not have been possible without your support.”

St George’s Hospital Charity are pleased to have been able to fund this pioneering investigation into an under-researched aspect of regionalised major trauma care in 2015. The research has proven to be important in signposting improvements that need to be made to ensure that everyone has the best experience of major trauma care possible. These findings greatly fit into our mission of not only supporting the St George’s Hospitals but also the communities that they serve, however far and wide they might stretch.


From left to right, the people in the above image are: Professor Tom Quinn (Joint Faculty, Kingston & St George's), Service user representative Mike Adams (father of a former major trauma patient at St George's), Professor Fiona Jones (Joint Faculty, Kingston & St George's), Professor Heather Jarman (St George's Hospital NHS Trust), Chris Brunker (St George's Hospital NHS Trust) and Dr Tino Kulnik (Joint Faculty, Kingston & St George's).








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