Hospital trust's 24/7 image-guided surgery service among best in country

Nigel HackingSouthampton’s university hospitals have been recognised nationally for offering round-the-clock access to the latest image-guided procedures.

The interventional radiology service at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals has become one of only seven in England and Wales to be awarded exemplar status by the British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR).

As part of the BSIR’s drive to improve access to and quality of services, it launched a quality improvement programme to discover which centres are performing most effectively and why.

In Southampton, which has the south of England’s only 24/7 full interventional radiology service, experts provide emergency embolisation for major trauma – a non-surgical technique used to stem internal bleeding – any time of the day or night.

They also perform cutting-edge emergency keyhole procedures such as endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), which involves using a stent passed up through the groin to remove potentially fatal bulges in blood vessel walls.

In addition to an on-call interventional radiologist, the service at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is unique in providing 24/7 on-call nurses and radiographers.

Dr Nigel Hacking, a consultant interventional radiologist at UHS, said: “We have worked extremely hard to deliver a robust 24/7 interventional radiology service over the last three years to ensure people from across the south have access to cutting-edge emergency treatment at any time of the day or night.

“We are now seeing the benefits of that for patients, with increasing numbers of emergency referrals from smaller surrounding hospitals, and are delighted our system has been recognised nationally as an example to others.”

Posted on Monday 11 November 2013