Coronavirus: vascular surgery services update
We know that this is a concerning time for lots of people. Even through the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we remain committed to providing you and your family the best – and safest – care possible.
We are changing how we work in the cardiovascular team, so that we can continue providing the best care possible for current and new patients, both in and out of our hospital. These changes are designed to help keep everyone as safe as we can during this challenging time.
Please see our commonly asked questions and the information on this page for further details on changes we are making, and contact details for your clinical team.
To reduce the risk to our patients, whilst still ensuring they get the care they need, our team of consultants and nurses are carefully reviewing every single patient’s medical history and test results. Following these detailed reviews, they can find which patients need to be seen in person, which patients could have a 'virtual' review, and which patients could safely have their appointment postponed.
We are currently working to contact every patient regarding any changes. We understand that you may have waited some time for an appointment, and we apologise that your appointment may be changed.
After our detailed review, one of the following may happen.
- In some cases, we are changing appointments to a telephone consultation, and in certain circumstances, a video appointment. This prevents you from having to travel to the Trust.
- Some patients may be discharged back to their GP and we will write to you if this is the case. If you have been discharged back to your GP, it is because it is safe to do so. If your situation has changed, please let us know.
- Some appointments may be deferred without a future date being arranged at this stage. If we defer your appointment, this is because we believe it is safe to do so. You will remain on our waiting list and we will contact you in due course. If your symptoms have changed and you think you should be seen, please contact your team so we can give you the help and treatment you need.
Clinical help and advice
If you have symptoms that could be a medical emergency (such as a heart attack or stroke), call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
It is possible that you are seen in more than one service. If your query is specifically about your vascular condition, you should direct it as outlined in this section.
The vascular surgery service is run by a team of vascular consultants. If you are under their care, then you are a patient of the vascular team.
If you have not heard from us within three days of your scheduled appointment please email email@example.com or call on 020 7188 0766/020 7188 7335. Our phone lines are very busy and there may be a wait for your call to be answered. For any clinical advice please email our vascular nurses on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are worried about your health or feel that you are getting worse, or you are unable to email, please call us on 07775 018299 so that we can give you the help and treatment you need. Use this number for urgent issues regarding your condition. Please leave a message with your name, contact details, and query.
Advice and guidance
We are doing everything we can to support GPs and your patients during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, prior to any referral, we would strongly advise that GPs to seek advice and guidance via e-RS or Consultant Connect (if it is available in your area). All of our services available on e-RS are set up for advice requests.
This will enable the clinical team to review your request and provide an interim treatment plan for ongoing management of a patient. They can also advise and provide clarification regarding a patient's test results.
The GP can attach documents to the e-RS advice request, which may include diagnostic results, scanned images (eg ECGs). Providers can also respond with attachments
If you feel that a referral is absolutely necessary, please refer via e-RS and use the 'defer to provider' functionality for urgent/two-week wait (2WW) referrals. Please attach the referral letter at the point of referral/within 24 hours.
For 2WW referrals, ensure that the patient meets the criteria ahead of referring. Do not refer urgent patients under 2WW as this will overwhelm the service.
We will vet the referral and either book into a virtual appointment or add the patient to the waiting list if they need a face-to-face appointment.
Do not defer to provider routine referrals. Send the appointment request to the patient so they can do this when they are ready to book. Please consider this before making any referral as our capacity to see new patients is very limited.
For any training issues/ technical assistance with e-RS/smartcards, please contact your local commissioning support unit (CSU) or registration authority helpdesk.
For south-east London GPs, your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned the Consultant Connect service so you can also use this to seek advice. We are in the process of expanding our Consultant Connect lines – these will be available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and the communication will come via your local CCG bulletins. Please share this information within your practice.
Vascular surgery services
Guy's and St Thomas' vascular unit is a national tertiary referral centre providing diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the blood vessels. We have a large team of specialist surgeons, radiologists, doctors and nurses to look after you.
The department is the hub of the South East Thames Network. We provide emergency and elective vascular services to people living in south east London and west Kent. Our 'network' hospitals are:
- King’s College Hospital NHS Trust (Kings College Hospital and Princess Royal University Hospital)
- Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich)
- Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (Darent Valley Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup)
- Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (Tunbridge Wells Hospital).
We are a national tertiary referral centre for complex aortic disease specialising in endovascular and open surgery for aneurysms and aortic dissection.
We are a leading unit in the management of diabetic patients with vascular disease and have a large multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, radiologists, physicians and podiatrists who provide a multidisciplinary care for these patients. We are committed to supporting our network hospitals diabetes services through the diabetic foot network.
We have a specialist interest in the management of deep venous disease with a multidisciplinary team specialising in this field.
Mortality rates from surgery carried out in the unit are well below the national average. In 2016, our:
- complex endovascular aneurysm repair mortality rate was 1.3%
- infrarenal aneurysm repair (EVAR) mortality rate was 0.5%
- carotid endarterectomy stroke and mortality rate was 1.0%.
Find out more about aortic aneurysms
We offer a number of specialist vascular services. These include the treatment of aortic aneurysms. Watch our video about repairing complex aortic aneurysms.
Repairing complex aortic aneurysms – video transcript
My name is Said Abisi, I'm a consultant vascular surgeon at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital.
My main area of practice is treating complex aortic aneurysms using endovascular techniques.
These are performed using X-ray guidance and state-of-the-art equipment, like the equipment we have here at Guy's and St Thomas'.
The patients normally come to the operating room here and we make a very small keyhole incision in their groin above the femoral artery.
We can introduce advanced graft which we can place inside the aneurysm to treat the aneurysm.
With the guidance of the X-ray we are able to see all the details we need to see and plan our procedure accordingly.
Once the procedure is done, we close the keyhole incision with a special glue without any sutures and the patient can experience early recovery and no postoperative pain.
We have excellent facility and support, we have a state-of-the-art hybrid theatre and we have an excellent team to provide the best level of care for patients with this condition.