Patients to benefit from service development

Angus patients with suspected deep venous thrombosis are now benefiting from improvements to care delivered in their local area.

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in the legs or pelvis. It can cause pain and swelling in the leg and may lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism which is when a piece of a blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream and blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs.

There are several things people can do to help prevent DVT occurring such as stopping smoking, losing weight and walking regularly to improve the circulation in legs.

The Angus pathway for assessment, diagnosis and management of suspected deep venous thrombosis is fully rolled out across the county. Around 22 patients per month are benefiting from this service in Angus. Previously all patients with suspected deep venous thrombosis would have been assessed at Ninewells Hospital, resulting in many patients having to journey to Ninewells for their ultrasound scan within a ward area.

Whilst patients who are acutely unwell or are at risk of additional complications continue to attend Ninewells for assessment and management, the majority now have an initial risk assessment performed by their GP. They are then referred by their GP, if appropriate, to Arbroath Infirmary for an ultrasound scan. If diagnosed with a deep venous thrombosis the doctors at Arbroath Infirmary start treatment and liaise with the patient’s GP who will then arrange ongoing management.

The service is supported by new patient information leaflets to make sure patients with a deep venous thrombosis understand their diagnosis and planned management. Patients who do not have a deep venous thrombosis are given a patient leaflet which outlines what to do if their symptoms do not get better.

Feedback from patient satisfaction surveys have shown 100 per cent of patients attending are happy with the care they receive at Arbroath Infirmary through this service with many praising prompt appointments and the quick turn-around of results reaching their GPs.