Patients face longer journeys after emergency surgery centralised

The HSJ has reported that since 6 January, Medway Maritime Hospital has no longer been able to carry out either emergency or elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs, as there are too few surgeons to cover the work. Patients, who would have been treated here previously for aortic aneurysms are having to travel 30 miles away, following an emergency reconfiguration of services.

The operations will now take place at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, which is run by East Kent Hospitals University FT and is 30 miles, or a 45 minute drive by car, from MFT. Only two of Medway Foundation Trust’s four vascular surgeons were carrying out the procedure. However, one is now on restricted duties and unable to operate because of ill-health.

HSJ reports that the move of the services to Canterbury had been planned for a later date and that both the Kent and Canterbury and the Medway Maritime units have been operating under a “derogation”, meaning they cannot meet all required standards.

Full story in the HSJ, 4 February 2020