Peripheral arterial disease pathway published

The Vascular Society has recently published a quality improvement framework (QIF) for peripheral arterial disease.

A Best Practice Clinical Care Pathway for Peripheral Arterial Disease reacts to recommendations suggested in the vascular surgery GIRFT programme report from 2018.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is common as it affects 20 per cent of people in the UK aged over 60. It presents the risk of lower limb loss and heightens the risk of death from a heart attack and stroke.

There are more than 4,000 lower limb amputations performed every year in England due to complications of PAD and, or, diabetes.

It was discovered by the vascular GIRFT (Get It Right First Time) visits that the delivery of revascularisation in CLTI is inconsistent across the UK, regarding patient outcomes, length of hospital stays and service provision.

According to the GIRFT report, unacceptable pathways to revascularisation were universal. As well as this, it found that in many parts of the UK, supervised exercise for intermittent claudication is not accessible.

The document, which was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders, describes the care pathways, workforce and facilities needed to better outcomes for people with PAD.

The authors explained: “Implementation of this QIF aims to reduce unwanted variation in services for people with PAD. Key to achieving this aim is the development of evidence-based, multi-disciplinary care pathways that include timelines to access urgent care for CLTI.

“In some regions, reorganisation based upon the network model described in the VS’s Provision of Vascular Services documents will be needed.”

They added: “In all regions, vascular network leads will need to work with hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), integrated care systems (ICSs) and other medical and healthcare specialties, especially the multidisciplinary diabetic foot care teams (MDFTs), across their network areas to implement this QIF.”

This QIF is in alignment with the Vascular GIRFT recommendation that vascular networks improve and create processes to provide urgent care.

Access the report here.

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