Major Arterial Centre at Southmead Hospital celebrates first anniversary

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Major Arterial Centre at Southmead Hospital Bristol is celebrating its first anniversary.

Centralising major arterial surgery at the hospital has meant that emergency patients have access to both Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

They are also now benefiting from procedures that were not previously available in the Bristol area and are spending less time in hospital.

To mark its first year, staff from the Major Arterial Centre will be in the atrium of the Brunel building this afternoon (Tuesday, October 13) raising awareness of their work and services that support patients with vascular disease or can help prevent it.

The Major Arterial Centre at Southmead Hospital Bristol is celebrating its first anniversary.Patients from across Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, and Wiltshire now attend the Brunel building for major arterial procedures and emergency cases but still attend their local hospitals for outpatient appointments, imaging and some day case procedures.

In the 11 months since the centre was launched more than 400 patients have undergone major arterial procedures at the Brunel building. 

More than 80 per cent of patients referred to a vascular surgeon after being admitted to their local hospital are seen by a surgeon within 48 hours – including at weekends and on public holidays.

Setting up the centre at North Bristol NHS Trust meant the transfer of staff from University Hospitals Bristol and Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trusts. These staff continue to deliver services at their former Trusts as well as Weston General Hospital, Cossham Community Hospital, South Bristol Community Hospital, and Melksham Community Hospital.

The Major Arterial Centre is supported by a dedicated vascular ward, a new 'hybrid' vascular operating theatre, vascular specialist nurses - who now also carry out clinics, a dedicated Network Co-ordinator, a dedicated vascular Multi-disciplinary Team Coordinator,  a specialist rehabilitation team of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and a Discharge Nurse with close links to the Bristol Centre for Enablement. 

A new Monday to Friday vascular 'hot clinic' means that patients can be seen urgently when requested, which can avoid unnecessary inpatient admissions.

Clinical Lead for the Bristol Bath Weston Vascular Network, Mr Marcus Brooks, said: “Our data suggests that patient length of stay has reduced by having the specialist centre at Southmead Hospital with a consultant-led service seven days a week and access to new technology. 

“The service reconfiguration has also enabled us to introduce new procedures that we were unable to offer previously. We can now perform more complex endovascular aneurysm repairs - Fenestrated and Branched aortic stent grafts and EndoVascular Aneurysm Sealing - which means a greater proportion of patients are able to benefit from being offered a less invasive and safer option for repair of their aortic aneurysm.

“Patients are also benefiting from having a specialist service with specialist support after their procedures. This has been achieved with patients still receiving a high quality local vascular service, including outpatient clinics, diagnostic tests and day case procedures, where appropriate.” 

Mr Brooks added: “For all of us, I believe, it has been good to see new services developing that we could not offer before, and achieving this has been a real testament to the whole team for the way that they have adapted to new ways of working.”