Worthing Hospital vascular service threatened by centralisation

VASCULAR services at Worthing Hospital are under threat after plans have been revealed to centralise the service in Brighton.

As part of the shake-up of specialist health services across Sussex, the proposal has targeted vascular units at Worthing Hospital, Eastbourne Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

Vascular surgeons deal with the treatment of all blood vessels in the body, excluding those of the heart.

An independent review into the vascular units at the three hospitals found none of the three hospitals alone fulfilled the criteria laid out by the Vascular Society, leading them into recommending a central unit based at Brighton.

The recommendation was based on the hospital’s central location within Sussex, as well as on the hospital’s status as a teaching hospital and its provision of a major trauma centre. Worthing Hospital insisted a vascular service would remain at the site, including the staff needed to maintain it.

Hany Hafez, consultant vascular surgeon and director of the Sussex abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme said: “The review of major vascular surgery in Sussex is concerned with improving care for a very small number of patients, who require highly specialised treatment.

“Our patients who require this specialist treatment already receive this at Brighton and all other aspects of the vascular service, including outpatient clinics, day surgery and non-arterial surgery, will remain at Worthing Hospital.”