Opening the UK's First Vascular & Interventional Centre

LNWH Charity's single, largest donation ever has funded a pioneering Vascular Centre at Northwick Park Hospital, which could revolutionise the way patients receive treatments throughout the country.

Following years of planning, a £1.5m grant from LNWH Charity and seven months of building work, West London Vascular and Interventional Centre (WeLVIC) launched its Grand Opening on Tuesday, 25th June 2019 at Northwick Park Hospital.

The event was attended by the Mayors of Brent, Ealing and Harrow, along with representatives from our local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), as well as patient representatives and guest of honour, Professor Henrik Sillesen, President of the European Vascular Society.

The ground-breaking centre sees both vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists working together under one roof for the first time, providing patients more seamless and efficient care for a range of complex conditions, including specialist venous and aneurysm clinics, varicose veins care and diabetic foot care.

As reported in The Times in 2015, Harrow and Brent were the two highest risk areas for Type 2 diabetes, while Brent registered as having the highest obesity-related hospital admissions in the capital 12 months later. WeLVIC plans to help tackle these growing problems by increasing “minimally invasive” procedures to unblock veins and arteries, resulting in lower risk, quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays.

One patient to benefit from the new centre is Gordon Sheridan, a keen equestrian who suffered crippling leg pains which prevented him from riding his horses for several years. The 67-year old could barely walk due to constricted arteries reducing the flow of blood to his legs. He said: “My heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest it was doing so much overtime. It was incredibly painful to walk any distance.”

He benefited from a procedure that involved inserting a wire into his groin to deliver two small tubes into the arteries at the top of each leg. The procedure, known as interventional radiology, allows for less invasive, image guided access to any part of the body, helping to clear obstructions and deliver small devices to reopen narrowed arteries and veins.

These modern techniques help to reduce risks resulting in shorter hospital stays, lower costs, greater comfort and quicker recovery. Mr Sheridan proclaimed that walking out of the hospital, the same day, with no pain was, "Extraordinary."

Simon Crawford, Deputy Chief Executive of London North West University Healthcare said:

“The new vascular and interventional centre will allow us to serve our patients locally and stop them being referred out. It also helps repatriate some patients, keeping them closer to home. The work undertaken here underlines the importance of patient care, as it brings all cohort teams together in a more modern, fit-for-purpose environment,”

Cllr Ketan Sheth, Chair of Brent Council's community and wellbeing scrutiny committee, said:

"I'm pleased that the new centre will provide patients with seamless care for a range of complex vascular conditions closer to home."

“This is the first place in the UK to bring vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists together providing a one-stop service for patients, all under the same roof. We’re training a new generation of vascular specialists who are skilled in both disciplines and we hope this will set an example for the rest of the UK".

Professor Martin Malina, Clinical Director for WeLVIC