Vascular service centralisation on the horizon


new IR theatre

Inpatient vascular surgery is being centralised at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) as part of a move to ensure patients continue to benefit from the highest quality specialist services.


Previously vascular surgery was split between Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH) and CGH. The new service arrangements will go live from 6th February and follow public consultation in 2008.


Vascular surgery involves the reconstruction or repair of disease-damaged arteries and veins. It is highly specialised and relies on a limited number of experienced clinicians. By bringing the services together under one roof, patients will receive faster, more streamlined access to consultants and other specialist staff.


Vascular patients will now be based on 34-bedded Guiting ward. The service at CGH will be enhanced by the opening of a brand £2.4m Interventional Radiology (IR) Theatre. Outpatient and follow-up clinics will continue to take place in both hospitals.


Mr Mark Whyman said: “We are very happy finally to move in-patient vascular services to a single site in the county. We have a new state-of-the-art operating theatre that will help us provide the best care for patients, much of it by minimally invasive techniques.”


Chief Executive Dr Frank Harsent added: “Our trust has a history of successful site and service changes which have delivered improved outcomes for patients. As well as benefiting patients, this latest move also demonstrates our commitment to Cheltenham General Hospital which continues to play a vitally important role in providing high quality care to patients in Gloucestershire and beyond.”  




More about the vascular move

Interventional Radiology is where flexible plastic catheters are navigated through blood vessels using the body’s arterial tree as a ‘highway’ to gain access to areas which can otherwise only be reached by making a surgical incision. As there is very little pain, the patient may be awake during the procedure and return to normal activities very quickly.