STRUCTURE: A proposed service model for a single clinical team for vascular surgery in Birmingham has been identified by the trust as part of reconfiguration plans.

In response to national and NHS West Midlands standards the trust has been asked to work jointly with University Hospitals of Birmingham Foundation Trust to look at options to develop a single clinical team for Vascular Surgery and as part of this to consolidate major inpatient surgery on one site.

These proposals are likely to result in our inpatient vascular surgery service and vascular Interventional Radiology service being transferred to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital with vascular surgery day case and outpatient services continuing to be provided at City and Sandwell Hospitals.

In addition to a joint project group with UHBT, Sandwell and West Birmingham has established an internal project team to undertake the detailed planning work and analysis around the impact on services.

A proposed service model has been identified and was presented in early December. The following benefits have been identified:

  • 24/7 access to a specialist vascular surgery clinical team,
  • A critical mass of patients (i.e. population of 800 000) that will enable the clinical team to develop greater specialisation and undertake more complex procedures which based on national outcome data will improve clinical outcomes.
  • Establishment of a centre of excellence which will undertake appropriate clinical trials, research, support specialist training, have access to high quality facilities and technology and attract high calibre specialist staff.
  • Implementation of AAA (aortic aneurysm) screening programme.
  • A 24/7 interventional radiology service.

Based upon activity levels for the first 6 months of 2011-12, this reconfiguration would impact on around 600 patients requiring inpatient admission under vascular surgery and around 260 patients requiring vascular interventional radiology. It is not clear at this stage, given the strong national and regional clinical case for change, whether formal consultation and therefore formal gateway reviews are likely to be required.

The trust is developing a business case for change which will include a detailed analysis of activity, income, expenditure and capacity changes related to the proposed reconfiguration and will be presented to the board for approval in February 2012. UHBT will also be presenting the Business Case for Change to its trust Board.

In line with the SHA timeframe, the proposal is to implement this change during summer 2012.