NHS England North East and Yorkshire has today (Wednesday 28 August) launched a public consultation setting out proposals for the future of specialised vascular services in West Yorkshire and is asking patients and the public for their views.
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.
Currently the specialised vascular services in West Yorkshire are delivered from three centres – Leeds General Infirmary, Bradford Royal Infirmary and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Based on a need to reduce the number of specialised vascular centres from three to two as identified by Yorkshire and The Humber Clinical Senate, the proposed recommendation being consulted on is that those centres should be at Leeds General Infirmary due to its status as a major trauma centre, and Bradford Royal Infirmary due to its co-location with renal care. The proposals could result in all specialised vascular surgery that requires an overnight hospital stay being transferred from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Bradford Royal Infirmary, which would potentially affect up to 800 patients a year.
Dr David Black Commissioning Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement in North East and Yorkshire said: “Under these proposals the majority of patients would continue to access vascular day-case surgery, diagnostics, outpatient appointments and rehabilitation services in local hospitals throughout West Yorkshire. 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 either Leeds General Infirmary or Bradford Royal Infirmary.”
There are three main reasons for the recommended change to services set out as part of the consultation:
- Specialised vascular centres must be able to deliver a safe and sustainable service to comply with NHS England’s national service specification.
- There are significant staffing pressures at both the Bradford and Huddersfield centres, and while teams are working very hard to maintain good patient outcomes and deliver the appropriate volume of activity for specialised vascular procedures, the service cannot continue in its current form.
- Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust currently run a shared out of hours on-call rota for emergency vascular services between the two sites, which is not supported as an acceptable or long-term solution by NHS England or Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Senate.
Vascular surgeon and Regional Clinical Director for Vascular Services across West Yorkshire Mr Neeraj Bhasin added: “Following a process exploring the options, all NHS organisations involved in the delivery of acute hospital services in West Yorkshire accept the proposed recommendation that Bradford Royal Infirmary should be the second vascular centre in our region – and we want vascular 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 the vascular service across the whole region, continue to 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 and enable us to have more time to develop services and our use of technology so that patients spend less time in hospital.”
To find out more about the consultation on the future of specialised vascular services in West Yorkshire and complete a survey online here.
Or to request a copy of the consultation on the future of specialised vascular services in West Yorkshire is sent to you email england.WYVfeedback@nhs.net or telephone 0113 8251536.