Specialised vascular services public consultation

During February and March 2022, NHS England South East region and NHS Kent and Medway CCG asked patients and the public for their views on medium-term proposals for specialised vascular services in east Kent, Medway and the Maidstone catchment of west Kent.

About vascular services

Vascular services reconstruct, unblock or bypass arteries and are often one-off specialist procedures to reduce the risk of sudden death or amputation and prevent stroke.

Currently, specialised vascular services in east Kent, Medway and the Maidstone catchment of West Kent are delivered from two surgical centres – Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital at Canterbury. 

The proposals

The proposals would result in all specialised vascular surgery that requires an overnight hospital stay being transferred from Medway Maritime Hospital to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, which would potentially affect up to 265 patients a year.

Consultation report

A public consultation was held earlier this year regarding the proposal to create a single centre for inpatient vascular surgery in Kent and Medway, bringing together the inpatient services at Kent and Canterbury and Medway Maritime hospitals. 

This consultation, which was run by NHS England specialised commissioning and NHS Kent and Medway CCG (working with Healthwatch and the acute trusts in east Kent, Medway and Maidstone), was open for six weeks and ended on Tuesday, 15 March 2022. You can read the consultation report on the future of vascular services in Kent and Medway here and its appendices here.

The feedback from the public consultation showed a clear mandate for change and broad support for the establishment of a single vascular inpatient centre at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury.

The findings from the consultation informed a Decision Making Business Case which was then approved by all relevant NHS organisations in Kent and Medway. It was endorsed by the Kent and Medway Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) on Tuesday 6 December 2022. You will find the JHOSC paper here.

This means that all vascular surgery requiring a stay in hospital will move from Medway Maritime Hospital to Kent and Canterbury Hospital (in a phased way) by April 2023.

Outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests will continue at Medway Maritime Hospital as well as hospitals in Ashford, Canterbury, Margate, and Maidstone. Day surgery will also continue both at Medway Maritime Hospital and at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Reasons for the recommendations

There are three main reasons for the recommended medium-term change to services that was set out as part of the consultation. The move will:

- Ensure the best outcomes and chances of survival for patients based on national best practice agreed by experts.

- Ensure we have more specialists available 24/7 with the right specialist skills, equipment and infrastructure.

- Meet national standards for vascular surgery.

Consultation documentation

For a record of the public consultation and the supporting documentaion please visit the NHS England consultation website 

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