Vascular hub for Lister is given the green light

PUBLISHED: 14:00 29 December 2018

Lister Hospital.

Lister Hospital.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A new vascular hub at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital has been given the go-ahead as part of the government’s £1 billion investment into the NHS.

Vascular surgery is an area which treats the arteries and veins of the body – with all arterial procedures to be carried out at the new hub, with an existing theatre being adapted to create an endovascular theatre.

The hub will be part of a vascular network which includes west Essex, serving 1.5 million people.

In 2013, this paper reported that mortality rates at Lister Hospital were high when it came to complex vascular surgery, and the East and North Herts NHS trust’s most senior vascular surgeon had a death rate more than twice the national average.

The Midlands and East Specialised Commissioning Group began exploring moving specialised or complex vascular surgery from the Stevenage site to Watford General Hospital, which had mortality rates well below national targets and had been described as consistently good.

But the move has been avoided, with the NHS trust’s multi-disciplinary approach said to be key to its impressive ranking in the 2016 National Vascular Registry report for unblocking carotid arteries – which supply blood to the brain.

Responding to the good news, NHS trust chief executive Nick Carver said: “The vascular network will provide elective and 24/7 emergency vascular services for patients in Hertfordshire and west Essex, including a vascular hub at the Lister Hospital where all arterial procedures will be carried out.

“This will also benefit a number of specialists including stroke and cancer services. By working with other local NHS hospitals, the network will greatly improve diagnosis and treatment for vascular conditions and will improve both the quality of care and experience for our patients.”

The go-ahead has also been given for the relocation of the renal dialysis unit based at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, with a new purpose-built facility to be based in the Luton and Dunstable area. The NHS trust has renal satellite units already at Lister, in St Albans, Bedford and Harlow.

Mr Carver added: “The building will have a designated space where patients are able to self-dialyse if they are not able to do so from home, allowing for greater flexibility in their treatment and improving the quality of their care and experience.”

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