SERVICES: Major vascular surgery in east Suffolk is to be centralised at Colchester General Hospital.

NHS Suffolk heard the results of a consultation exercise carried out by the Five Rivers Vascular Network.

The proposal moves major vascular surgery out of Ipswich Hospital. Larger centres for this surgery are thought to have lower mortality rates for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms. However, it is only major surgery which is affected and most vascular patients will receive treatment at their normal site.

The majority of the 44 responses to the engagement exercise were in favour of the move but there were concerns about travel time and the loss of specialist services from Ipswich.

Hossein Khaled, chairman of the Five Rivers Vascular Network said: ‘The centralisation of major vascular surgery at Colchester General Hospital has been driven by vascular clinicians and the majority of respondents have indicated that they favour this move. It is important to note that much mainstream vascular work will remain at Ipswich. This initiative has an excellent outcome for the east Suffolk population in that it also means we can commence abdominal aortic aneurysm screening from April 2012 which will have public health benefit for our population.’