Vascular Surgery

The GIRFT national report on vascular surgery was published in March 2018.

Click here to download the full report

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Thumbnail of the vascular surgery report

Click here to watch a short video about the report (click to view full screen)

Health Minister Stephen Barclay said:

“These important recommendations from Professor Mike Horrocks could not only save the lives of 100 patients a year, but get vascular patients quicker test results, shorter waiting times and better recoveries, all while saving the NHS £16 million.

I urge trusts across the NHS to use this advice to help end unwarranted variation and make the NHS the safest and most efficient healthcare system in the world.”

Miss Susan Hill, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon and Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “Vascular surgery involves complicated and high risk procedures performed by both surgeons and interventional radiologists.  Patients with arterial disease can be at risk from sudden death due to ruptured aortic aneurysm, death or disablement due to major stroke and limb loss secondary to occlusive arterial disease (caused by blocked arteries in the legs), or complications of diabetes.

“The GIRFT Vascular report shows that many patients with potentially fatal conditions can wait far too long before they see a consultant vascular surgeon.  It also demonstrates great variation in provision of care across the country which does not need to be the case.  GIRFT recommendations include the reconfiguration of vascular services into networks with high volume regional central units, a model the Vascular Society has recommended for many years.  This would improve access to specialists, improve outcomes, and reduce costs.

The Royal College of Surgeons unequivocally supports GIRFT and urges the NHS to act upon Professor Horrock’s recommendations.”


Mr Kevin Varty, President of The Vascular Society, added: “The society and our members have worked with the GIRFT team to complete this initial analysis of the vascular services we currently deliver. This identifies the strengths and weaknesses of our services and highlights the improvements we can make. This provides us with the benchmark from where we can plan further change. Working with the GIRFT team we believe we can improve the quality of care patients receive with better outcomes delivered at the right time. There are also potential cost savings highlighted in this report from reduced complications, hospital stays and re-admissions. There is therefore much to be gained from this report and implementing its recommendations.”

The Clinical Lead for vascular surgery was appointed with the endorsement of the Vascular Society.  Neha Patel ( is the project manager for this workstream.

Clinical lead: Professor Mike Horrocks

Mike has focused on both elective and emergency Vascular Surgery in networks and Trusts throughout his long career.

He was Professor of Surgery in Bath before his recent retirement and has been Secretary General of the European Society of Vascular Surgery, President of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, President of ASGBI and a Council member of RCS chairing Education and Professional Standards, culminating as Senior Vice-President.

Appointed consultant surgeon at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1982, Mike moved to Bath in 1991 to take up the Postgraduate Chair in Surgery with an interest in vascular surgery. He attended Guys Hospital for his undergraduate training followed by post-graduate training at Ipswich, Guys Hospital, Medway, Kings and the South West.

Project manager: Neha Patel