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Right Arrow Changes proposed to hospital vascular services
20 February 2012 at 10:22
Patients and the public are being asked for their views on proposed changes to the way specialist vascular services are provided at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Vascular services are changing nationally and the proposals for Merseyside and Cheshire aim to save more lives and improve the quality of life for patients following treatment.

These services are for people with disorders of the arteries and veins, including narrowing of arteries, blocked vessels and varicose veins – but not diseases of the heart and vessels in the chest.

Treating vascular disease well is not easy. Research shows that the chances of survival and improved quality of life after the treatment of arterial diseases are greatest when patients are treated by a highly trained specialist team, working in a large centre to which many patients are referred.

In addition, some hospitals are unable to offer a comprehensive round-the-clock service – for example, specialist consultant support or the interventional radiology techniques which can help surgeons save limbs and organs.

A number of hospitals carry out vascular surgery but one-in-five cases are so complex they would be best carried out at a specialist unit.

This means that specialist surgery needs concentrating in fewer centres – something widely agreed upon during thorough engagement with a range of stakeholders last year.

Mr David Jones, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Earlier engagement with the public, patients and clinicians overwhelmingly supported the approach to concentrate the specialist surgery in order to improve patient safety – even if this meant specialist surgery was not carried out at their local hospital.”

Medical Director Dr Geraldine Boocock added: “Changing the way we provide vascular services will save more lives and improve the quality of life after treatment. We are thoroughly supportive of these proposals which retain day cases, follow-up and rehabilitative care within the Trust.”

The Clinical Commissioning Groups, made up of GPs who commission services for their patients, also agreed there should be two specialist vascular centres.

It is proposed that one specialist centre is at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, working with hospitals north of the River Mersey, and one at the Countess of Chester Hospital, working with those south of the river.

A series of public events is being held to ensure north Sefton and West Lancashire patients can debate the proposals fully. They include:

• Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Aintree, L9 5AS – Friday 24th February
• Reflections Gallery, The World of Glass, Chalon Way East, St Helens, WA10 1BX – Wednesday 28th March

The events will run from 10am to 2pm with registration from 9.30am.

Further information is available at a where people can find all the information as well as submit their views.

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494

Notes for editors

1. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital. It is also responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. The Trust provides healthcare to a population of 258,000 people and employs 3,500 staff.