Covid situation update for Vascular Society members – 12th January 2021
12 January 2021
The Vascular Society Executive makes the following statement today.
The current Covid wave continues unabated and some areas of the country are now at capacity. Transfer of patients to other hospitals is already happening and will likely continue over the next few weeks. Your Council has been in close collaboration with a number of organisations over the last week and wanted to inform you of the developments:
- HQIP has responded to a request from the Audit and Quality Improvement VS subcommittee to consider not publishing individual surgical outcomes (for AAA and CEA surgery) this year based on the reduction in numbers and possible adverse outcomes related to Covid. They were understanding of our concerns and we will continue to engage with them as more data becomes available. Hospital outcomes will be published as normal and it is especially important that the new Covid data fields are completed. This will allow us to get accurate data in real time and to this end, we are ahead of most specialties.
- We approached PHE to request the priority vaccination of patients awaiting aortic surgery as we felt this was an easily identifiable group where there was a reasonable timeframe to increase their safety by the time they came to intervention. This had the backing of NAAASP, WAAASP, GIRFT and the CRG. PHE acknowledged this, but for now is continuing to advocate limiting vaccination to the four groups already identified. However, many members have already had success locally by lobbying their Trust Board, Medical Director or GP practice on behalf of patients. We would recommend this approach whilst we await further direction from PHE.
- Re-deployment of staff is already happening. We would urge everyone to protect the training needs of trainees wherever possible, but accept that in dire circumstances, they (and we) may be needed for other duties.
- One thing Covid has taught us, is the importance of trained staff. Whilst, new wards can be opened and whole hospitals built, without staff to run them, their impact is limited. Please take this opportunity to complete the staff survey at this vital time via this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/P28YD88. This will play a very important role in shaping our future service.
These are very difficult times and we must continue to act as advocates for our patients and do our best to support our colleagues, wider teams and trainees.
President, Vascular Society Great Britain and Ireland