Vascular surgery to continue at Worthing Hospital

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DESPITE plans to create a Brighton-based specialist vascular treatment centre for Sussex, Worthing Hospital will continue to carry out day-case vascular surgery.

A Sussex-wide vascular network of care will be developed, with Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester continuing to carry out day-case vascular surgery.

The new centre will be at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, which will also house the first major trauma centre in the region.

Dr Phillip Barnes, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust medical director, said: “This networked approach across Sussex for specialised work in vascular care will save lives and give patients the best chance of making a full recovery and resuming their normal life.

“It will allow us to provide sustainable, high-quality services in an increasingly specialised area.

“The vast majority of patients will continue to be treated locally, as they are now, but those few people who really need the most specialised care will be taken direct to a designated centre where clincians can deliver the care they need.”

NHS Sussex said: “In future, patients who suffer a major trauma, for example people very severely injured in a road traffic accident, will be taken direct to a dedicated, 24-hour specialist unit in Brighton.

Existing accident and emergency departments will work together in a co-ordinated way to ensure patients receive care in the specialist centre that is most appropriate for their urgent needs.”

Vascular services treat conditions where there is not enough blood reaching an organ or parts of the body such as the arms, legs or head, caused by a partial or total blockage.

Vascular surgery deals with a variety of acute and life-threatening conditions, including aneurysms and strokes.

The proposals have been welcomed by the West Sussex health overview and scrutiny committee, and chairman Christine Field said: “The vast majority of patients will continue to use local services, but those needing more complex specialist care will be treated in Brighton.”