Suffolk and Essex: Region’s blood vessel surgery under review

A REVIEW of health services could lead to changes in the way that vascular surgery is delivered in the region.

All vascular treatments, which relate to disorders of the blood vessels, in Suffolk and North Essex are currently split between Ipswich Hospital and Colchester General Hospital, with staff working on a joint rota.

The current service has ensured that members of the public always have access to treatment.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said that the shared rota had meant that patients throughout both areas of East Anglia were able to receive care “24 hours a day, every day of the year”.

However, under the review the service could be centralised to just one of the hospitals, meaning that the treatments would be controlled from Ipswich or Colchester.

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“For many years, the service has been split between the two hospitals,” the spokeswoman confirmed. “We have operated a joint rota.”

“There is a review at the moment into what the options for the future are in terms of possibly centralising the service.”

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Last week, Michael Gough, a professor in vascular surgery, visited both hospitals to assess how the service should be controlled and which hospital was more suitable to act as a base for the treatment.

The spokeswoman told the East Anglian Daily Times that centralising the service would not change how patients were treated.

A decision is not expected to be made for a number of months.

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