Sunderland Royal Hospital to be '˜hub' for vascular treatment in North East
Sunderland's Royal Hospital will be one of three 'hubs' for vascular services in the North East, under new proposals from NHS bosses.
A strategic review concluded that the region’s vascular service should be re-configured to a maximum of three vascular hubs – centres that provide a full, high quality vascular service.
Bosses say that centralising services helps clinicians to work together to gain the best possible experience in providing care to patients.
Vascular services are currently provided from four sites in the North East - James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, Sunderland Royal Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham.
James Cook and the Freeman are both major trauma centres so must continue to provide a full vascular service.
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust requested an independent clinical review, which was carried out by the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2015.
The clinical review also advised that there is a strong case to remodel vascular services in the North East and that there is only sufficient specialised vascular activity and vascular clinicians to support three centres.
It recommends that full vascular services should be delivered from Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.
The recommendation means that around 12 patients a week, who live in County Durham, would have their vascular surgery done at the Royal instead of University Hospital of North Durham.
University Hospital of North Durham should continue to see around 3,600 patients a year for vascular outpatient appointments.
Treatment of varicose veins would also remain in Durham.
Professor Chris Gray, NHS England’s medical director in the North East, said: “All NHS organisations involved in this reconfiguration support the recommendation that Sunderland Royal Hospital should be the third vascular centre in our region.
“It is vital, as always, that high quality, safe and sustainable patient care remains at the core of reconfiguration decisions.
“Sunderland has been recommended as it already has the physical infrastructure in place including a new emergency department and an intensive care unit with sufficient bed capacity.
“It also has a state-of-the-art imaging hub which is key for interventional radiology, which uses a range of minimally invasive treatments that diagnose or treat vascular diseases, for example, the use of stents.
“The hospital also provides a number of related speciality services such as cardiology care, which deals with disorders of the heart and parts of the circulatory system, and renal care, which treats kidney disorders.
“Vascular disease is a generalised condition.
“Centralising specialist care together in one organisation provides patients with the best possible care at the point of need.”
Vascular care manages disorders of arteries and veins.
Vascular surgery is done to reconstruct, unblock or bypass arteries to restore blood flow to organs.
Procedures reduce the risk of sudden death, prevent stroke and reduce the risk of amputation.