Healthwatch County Durham and
Healthwatch Darlington are encouraging people in
County Durham to attend information and listening events about
changes to vascular services in County Durham.
The events, which will be hosted by Healthwatch, are being
organised by NHS England to capture the views of patients and the
public about improving patient experience when people have vascular
Vascular services manage the treatment and care of patients with
disorders of arteries and veins..
Attendees will be able to hear from and share their views
directly with NHS staff, including vascular consultants.
The changes and the benefits to patients and NHS staff will be
explained at the events which are being held across County Durham
and Darlington on the following dates:
This change affects patients from County Durham who have
vascular surgery and have to stay in hospital overnight. Patients
who have accessed this service over the last three years at
University Hospital North Durham have been personally invited to
these events and members of the public are also very welcome. It is
appreciated that decisions on changes to services will also impact
on a patient's carer, family and friends.
To register your interest in attending one of the above events
or for more information, please contact Healthwatch County Durham
by calling 0800 304 7039 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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 University Hospital and the Freeman Hospital
are both major trauma centres so must continue to provide a full
An independent review by the Vascular Society of Great Britain
and Ireland has recommended that to ensure vascular services in the
North East continue to be of high quality and sustainable, full
vascular services should be delivered from three centres - in
Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland.
The recommendation means that around ten patients a week, who
live in County Durham, will have their vascular surgery done at
Sunderland Royal Hospital instead of University Hospital of North
Around two patients a week, who live in Darlington and
surrounding areas, would have this surgery at James Cook University
Hospital, due to the hospital being closer to where they live.
Around 3,600 patients a year will continue to access vascular
outpatient and diagnostic appointments and services to treat
varicose veins in County Durham. Patients will also continue to
access rehabilitation services locally.
"Professor Chris Gray, NHS England's medical director in
North Cumbria and the North East, said: "I encourage
patients and members of the public to go along to these events,
their feedback is very valuable in ensuring that we can improve
patient experience at what can be a worrying time for patients,
their carers and families.
"All NHS organisations involved in this reconfiguration support
the recommendation that Sunderland Royal Hospital should be the
third vascular centre in our region. This reconfiguration will also
improve the overall sustainability of the service in the region and
aid recruitment, while minimising any potential gaps in rotas and
fragility within a service which is under increasing pressure.
For more general information about Healthwatch County
Durham visit www.healthwatchcountydurham.co.uk
and for Healthwatch Darlington www.healthwatchdarlington.co.uk
Published 21st January 2019
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