STRUCTURE: The chief executive of the Ipswich Hospital Trust has written a public letter explaining a vascular surgury configuration that will see services moved to Colchester General Hospital.

The Five Rivers Vascular Network has launched a consultation on plans for all surgery to be carried out at Colchester General Hospital only. The consultation is open until 23 December 2011.

In the letter, published on the trust’s website, chief executive Andrew Reed said: “In the past we have, with regret, seen services leave the hospital  to go to more distant centres. But this is different. This proposal comes direct from vascular surgeons both here and at Colchester who believe by joining forces they can provide one of the country’s leading centres of vascular surgery. What we are aiming for is nothing less than gold-standard care.”

He stressed that it was a joint decision, “made primarily because Colchester already provides this surgery for more patients than we do here”.

He added: “The vast majority of vascular patients will not be affected, as major surgery is confined to a relatively small number of procedures. All other aspects of vascular care, such as outpatients’ clinics, diagnostics and day case surgery, will continue to be carried out at Ipswich.”