|Change in the air at vascular meeting|
|Monday, 05 March 2012|
The Vascular Society has met for the last time before gaining official specialty status, writes Honorary Secretary Mike Wyatt
In November 2011, the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland was privileged to be able to hold its Annual General Meeting at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre; and what a splendid meeting it was!
The venue itself is probably one of the finest in the country and having accommodated us as recently as 2006, knew exactly what to expect from a group of mischievous vascular surgeons and their affiliated nurses, scientists and trainees. This is a time of great change for vascular surgery and there was a certain trepidation from delegates with respect to the various changes involving our members as we move ever closer to specialty status and an impending divorce from our historic ties with ‘General Surgery’. Indeed, much of the first day of proceedings was devoted to these changes and how they might affect the working patterns of both current and future vascular surgeons.
Our President, Peter Lamont carefully steered the membership through myriad minefields associated with ‘change’, commencing with a symposium entitled ‘The impact of volume versus outcome on vascular service reconfiguration’. This was designed to complement the ‘Provision of Services for Patients with Vascular Disease 2012’ document, which was ratified at our AGM later in the week. Essentially, the session examined ‘high volume centres’ in Europe and described the models which we believe will serve our patients best in the future. These include centralisation models in large cities and the formation of modern vascular networks elsewhere with designated arterial centres serving several hospitals to allow for 24/7 vascular, anaesthetic and interventional care to all patients with vascular disease in all parts of the UK.
On the preceding day, there had been meetings of the Venous Forum, SARS, an Educational Masterclass on ‘rare vascular disorders’ and an Endovascular Workshop. We were also delighted to welcome the Society of Vascular Nurses, The Society for Vascular Technology of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Society of Endovascular Therapy and the Rouleaux Club, who each held meetings during the week.
A major concern from members is the publication of individual surgeon’s results, which as a Society we feel will become essential as the reality of identifiable data becomes common place. Ross Naylor, our President-Elect chaired the symposium ‘Should the National Vascular Database publish individual surgeon’s results’ and we learnt much from excellent talks by Alison Cook (Director of Policy and Communications, RCSEng), David Mitchell, and Ben Bridgewater, who gave an excellent insight into the cardiac perspective; he has no doubt that this will happen and should be driven by the Society.
“It is so important that surgeons continue to be involved with NICE, the Department of Health and other influential bodies which control and define our everyday practice”
We discussed hybrid theatres, endovascular AAA repair and training and received excellent international guest lectures from Professor Eric Verhoeven (Germany), Dr Paul Norman (Australia), and Professor Hans-Henning Eckstein (Germany). Professor Julie Brittenden delivered a superb RCSEd Ali Bakran Lecture, ‘Surgical Trials and Tribulations: Lessons Learned from the CLASS Study’, and Professor Bruce Campbell rounded off the meeting with his Kinmonth Lecture, ‘The Evolution of Evidence’. What a joy it was to hear Bruce’s wonderfully prepared and exquisitely rehearsed journey through the world of evidence-based practice and specifically his more recent involvement with NICE; it is so important to ensure that surgeons continue to be involved at the high table of NICE, the Department of Health and other influential bodies which control and define our everyday practice.
The final symposium, which was chaired by our President Peter Lamont, reflected the Vascular Society’s activities with Quality Improvement. Entitled ‘The Vascular Society’s Quality Improvement Programmes’, Tim Lees, Roxanne Potgieter and David Mitchell led the audience through the various AAA QIP, NHS AAA Screening Programme and lower limb amputation QIP. This was an excellent session, with many questions, but the key message is that we all need to be involved in QIP to drive down mortality in patients with vascular disease in order to provide a world-class service to our patients.
Not all work though; we enjoyed a wonderful Annual Dinner at the most impressive and recently refurbished National Museum of Scotland. The 2012 Annual Meeting is in Manchester at the International Convention Centre and runs from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 November. Do hold the dates and join us for what promises to be a most enjoyable occasion; by then we will be a new specialty.
Mike Wyatt, Honorary Secretary, The Vascular Society
Vascular Society Awards
Throughout the meeting, many of our registrars, nurses, scientists and even medical students were brave enough to present their work in plenary sessions and we are delighted to congratulate the following prize winners on their exceptional performances:
P Grewal, Royal Free Hospital, London
Endovascular Treatment of Children with Mid-Aortic Syndrome
Venous Forum Prize
Nehmiah Samuel, Academic Vascular Surgical Unit, Hull
Randomised Trial of Endovenous Laser Ablation Versus Surgery for Small Saphenous Varicose Veins
Richard Wood Memorial Prize
Siobhan Gorst (D Drury, S Singh, RJ Cuschieri, PS Tan, JA Macierewicz, N Haldipur, WR Pillay), Doncaster Vascular Centre, Doncaster
Outcomes for Patients Who Do Not Undergo Repair of Their Large Aortic Aneurysms
Seamus Harrison, Centre For Cardiovascular Genetics, University College London
Genetic Determinants of Vascular Diameter and the Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Sol Cohen (Founder’s) Prize
Rachel Clough, NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre of Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London
A New 4D Aortic Imaging Technique to Quantify Vessel Wall Mechanics In Vivo