Vascular surgeons reconstruct, unblock or bypass arteries with precision procedures to restore blood flow to organs of the body, helping to reduce sudden death, preventing strokes, and reducing the risk of amputation. A further central role for vascular surgery is to address aortic aneurysms which, when they rupture, can rapidly lead to death.
The key aims of the GIRFT national report for vascular surgery were to make better use of surgical resources; enable a greater proportion of patients to receive urgent surgery sooner; and to reduce length of stay and cut readmissions.
The report recommended the creation of a fully-fledged ‘hub and spoke’ model of specialist vascular surgery units to ensure round-the-clock availability of early diagnostics, decision-making expertise and timely intervention.
Joint Vascular Surgery Clinical Lead
Rachel Bell is a consultant vascular surgeon at the Freeman Hospital, part of The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
She was appointed as a consultant at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in 2005 and was the clinical lead for vascular surgery for GSTT from 2008-2016, helping lead the reconfiguration of vascular services across south-east London. She went on to be the clinical director of cardiovascular services at GSTT and the Vascular Network Director for SE London, then relocated back to the north-east in 2020 and was appointed as a consultant vascular surgeon at the Freeman Hospital.
Nationally, she is immediate past-president of the Vascular Society of Great Britain & Ireland. She has been the chair of the Circulation Foundation and is a past president of the British Society of Endovascular Therapy. She represents the north-east region on the NHSE Clinical Reference Group for Vascular Surgery. She is also part of a multidisciplinary national team involved in rolling out the Aortic Dissection Toolkit, aimed at improving the care provided for patients presenting with acute aortic syndromes.
Joint Vascular Surgery Clinical Lead
Jonathan Boyle is a consultant vascular surgeon at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Cambridge.
He is a past president of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland (2021-2022) and was British Society of Endovascular Therapy president from 2013-2015.
Jonathan is enthusiastic about post-graduate training and served as training programme director for core surgical training in the east of England from 2007-2012 and was chair of the Vascular Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC), overseeing vascular training in the UK and Ireland, from 2015-2018.
He is the immediate past chair of the Audit and QI Committee of the Vascular Society and was the driving force behind the Peripheral Arterial Disease Quality Improvement Framework (PAD-QIF) and collection of aortic device data within the National Vascular Registry. This work led to his appointment as chair of the Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology Steering Group for NHS England’s Outcomes and Registries Programme.
He is also a clinical lead for the National Consultant Information Programme (NCIP).
Professor Mike Horrocks
Clinical Lead for Vascular Surgery (retired)
Professor Mike Horrocks 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 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.
Vascular networks will improve patient outcomes and save more lives
The NHS could save more lives by enabling more patients to receive urgent surgery sooner if a fully-fledged vascular networks model was adopted across the NHS in England.
The GIRFT review of vascular surgery found that networks would help to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening strokes, TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks), aortic aneurysm ruptures and arterial blockages.
The recommendation for networks has been welcomed by The Vascular Society and the Royal College of Surgeons.
Watch the video about the Vascular Surgery report…
Click above to play the Vascular Surgery national report video