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The Vascular Society’s spotlight on improving patient outcomes and reducing amputations


12 Sep 2019

Mr Jon Boyle

Jon Boyle, Chair of the Audit and Quality Improvement Committee of the Vascular Society


The Vascular Surgery Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) National Specialty Report, in 2018, identified significant delays in the investigation and treatment of patients presenting with ulceration and gangrene of the legs and feet due to poor blood supply. It also identified variations in practice across England in the treatments performed to restore blood supply and prevent amputation. Timely investigation and management of these patients is vital if a reduction in the 8,000 amputations currently performed annually on the NHS is to be achieved.


GIRFT made a number of recommendations including charging the Vascular Society with designing a Lower Limb Ischaemia Quality Improvement Framework (LLIQIF) to improve the number of procedures performed to restore blood supply and reduce amputation rates.  Furthermore, the Quality Improvement Framework (QIF) has defined clear pathway timelines for the investigation and treatment of these patients.


The Vascular Society completed the Peripheral Arterial Disease (PADQIF) after extensive stakeholder engagement in April 2019. The PADQIF contains challenging targets but aims to provide guidance and support to vascular surgeons and hospitals to achieve them. More information can be found here.


The next challenge is to implement the QIF. To this end, the Vascular Society Audit and QI Committee has been working closely with the RCS QI team and have plans to follow the successful model developed by the Cholecystectomy Quality Improvement Collaborative (Chole-QuIC),which has demonstrated significant improvements in the management of patients with gall stones.


We have identified a small number of early adopting centres that will work closely together to develop and share good practice. The RCS is supporting the kick off meeting in October.


The Vascular Society is also delighted to announce that the RCS and Circulation Foundation have agreed to jointly fund a Research Fellowship for two years to investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of the PADQIF.


This piece is the first in a series of Specialty Association Spotlight blog pieces. In this series representatives from the Specialty Surgical Associations will write about a 'hot topic' within their specialty, with the aim of starting conversations within the different specialties.

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