A public consultation has been launched into proposals for the future of specialised vascular services in Kent and Medway.
The consultation being conducted by NHS England and NHS Improvement South East and Kent and Medway CCG covers East Kent, Medway and Maidstone.
Vascular services reconstruct, unblock or bypass arteries and are often one-off specialist procedures to reduce the risk of sudden death or amputation and prevent stroke.
Dr Chris Tibbs, Medical Director Commissioning for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South East said: “Under these proposals there will be no changes for the majority of patients who would continue to access vascular care where they currently receive it in local hospitals throughout Kent and Medway.
“Only the most complex patients who require an overnight stay in hospital after having vascular surgery or radiological vascular intervention would be affected, with these patients receiving treatment at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury.”
There are three main reasons for the recommended change to services set out as part of the consultation:
Ensure the best outcomes and chances of survival for vascular patients
Ensure more specialists available 24/7 with the right specialist skills, equipment and infrastructure
Meet national standards for vascular surgery
As an inpatient vascular centre, the Kent and Canterbury hospital would have:
a new specialist operating theatre with a better range of facilities and equipment reducing the need for open surgery, and in turn reducing the length of stay in hospital and swifter recovery time
a dedicated vascular ward with extra beds for emergency patients 24 hours a day
vascular nurse specialists – able to support the transfer of patients back to their local hospital/home
out of hours care which includes evenings and weekends, including on call vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists
Around 1,200 vascular treatments are delivered to patients in East Kent, Medway and the catchment area of Maidstone each year. This includes outpatient appointments, planned lower risk day case surgery, such as varicose veins, and the more complex emergency and planned vascular treatments that require a stay in hospital.
Across the area about 700 people need specialist inpatient vascular care each year.
Kent Vascular Clinical lead Jonathan Purday, added: “After exploring the options, all NHS organisations and the clinicians involved in the delivery of acute hospital services in East Kent, Medway and the Maidstone catchment of West Kent accept the proposed recommendation that Kent and Canterbury Hospital should be the medium-term inpatient vascular centre in our region – and we want vascular and kidney patients and members of the public to feedback their views on this preferred option as part of the consultation.
“Through this opportunity to change the current systems, our aims are to improve the overall sustainability of vascular service across the area, deliver excellent patient outcomes and ensure equality of care to all our patients. As well as delivering better access to care and patient choice, this proposal will significantly help with recruitment and retention of staff in this highly specialised service and enable us to invest in these services and our use of technology so that patients spend less time in hospital.”
To find out more about the consultation and to complete a survey on-line visit: jointheconversation.scwcsu.nhs.uk/vascular-services.
Or to request a copy of the consultation on the future of specialised vascular services in East Kent, Medway and the Maidstone is sent to you email – firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01634 974040.
People can also attend one of the following four online events to find out more information from clinical leaders:
Wednesday 9 February 2022: 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Tuesday 22 February 2022: 10.00am – 12 noon
Tuesday 1 March 2022: 10.00am – 12 noon
Tuesday 8 March 2022: 11.00am – 1.00pm
Book your place online at jointheconversation.scwcsu.nhs.uk/vascular-services