On 3 April 2017, all major arterial surgery moved from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) to University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust (UHS).
This means that patients requiring this surgery will now be treated at Southampton General Hospital rather than the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where they will have access to a specialist vascular team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Patients will only be asked to travel where there is clear evidence of benefit in doing so – namely for complex procedures. Other services will continue to be delivered locally, with patients receiving their pre-operative care and follow-ups at the Queen Alexandra Hospital to reduce the need to travel. Vascular surgeons will continue to offer day surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital (such as for varicose veins) and run outpatient clinics from Portsmouth, Gosport, Havent & Fareham Hospitals, including diabetic foot clinics.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening continues to be provided as before. There is no change to this service.
Dr Vaughan Lewis, Clinical Director Specialised Commissioning, NHS England South, said: “Research shows that there are improved outcomes for patients treated in larger centres by specialist teams caring for a high volume of patients. This change, which is based on evidence reflected in national clinical guidance, ensures doctors with the right specialist skills are available in the right place to ensure sustainable, safe, high quality vascular surgery across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight”
With vascular surgery moving to Southampton General Hospital, this completes the Southern Hampshire Vascular Network – creating a world class centre for vascular services for people throughout the region. The network comprises UHS as the main arterial centre, and PHT, The Isle of Wight NHS Trust (based at St Mary’s Hospital) and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (based at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester) as the network hospital trusts that provide outpatient and diagnostic services.
Local surgeons and other clinicians have worked together to ensure Southampton General Hospital has the capacity and flexibility to cope with the additional volume of patients, which is expected to be around 300 patients a year. Arrangements have also been made to monitor the move for patients needing complex vascular surgery at Southampton General Hospital.
There will continue a vascular surgeon available at Portsmouth during weekdays in outpatients and on the wards. This will mean that patients with diabetes, kidney problems, cancer or injuries will be seen by a vascular surgeon.
Portsmouth will continue as the major regional renal (kidney) centre and patients will continue to be treated there for complications that arise from dialysis. There will be a handful of cases each year where a patient who needs dialysis will need urgent/emergency treatment at Southampton which needs an overnight stay and temporary dialysis will be available for them at Southampton during their stay.