ON the back of one woman’s big-hearted efforts after staff at St Peter’s saved her mother’s life, the Vascular Surgery Unit are keen raise the centre’s profile as one of the most advanced of its kind in the country.
Natalie Bowden has so far raised £4,400 to buy the unit vital ultrasound equipment.
After a number of operations and a lot of procedures at the centre, her mum Wendy Elliott, who has arterial vascular disease, now has synthetic veins and has made a remarkable recovery.
And staff are pleased to announce their ward is becoming bigger and better.
Lead vascular consultant Kieran Dawson said: “Our mortality rates are among the best in the country, of which we are very proud.”
Treatment can be for just about anything from varicose veins, hernias and diabetes to heart bypasses, aneurysms synthetic veins and angioplasy.
With the Government aiming to cut the number of vascular centres to about 50 main hubs, over the last three or four years the numbers have reduced rapidly from in the region of 200.
However, the St Peter’s staff have been going for it, working hard to adhere to requirements and meet targets. Mr Dawson added: “Ours is a big new progressive unit, which has expanded considerably from two consultants to five. We hope to appoint another in the near future.
“We have a £1.3 million hybrid theatre unit, so we can do all procedures in one place and follow it through – X-rays, investigations, operations – and now we have our own ward.”
This gives the patient doctor relationship continuity so the consultants can get to know them and build up a trust, which is important to patients’ recovery.”
“Our cases have increased three-fold. We have taken on all Epsom’s vascular patients and are looking to take more from other areas.
“We should be getting all the county’s referrals but GPs need to be made aware of our expertise. Our results are extremely good compared to others in the country.
“The new ultrasound machine means we can quickly measure blood flow to assess problems.”
The vascular unit has recently been appointed to man the national AAA project in Surrey, where all men aged 65 have abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.
Mr Dawson said: “Overall results from a visitors’ survey came back as: ‘We are very happy with Heron Ward and would come back again’.”