Vascular surgery recognised as independent specialty in the UK


On 16 March 2012, the UK Parliament gave statutory approval recognising vascular surgery as a specialty independent from general surgery.

Three years ago, the Vascular Society of Great Britain & Ireland (VSGBI) submitted an application to the Department of Health for Vascular Surgery to be recognised as a specialty, independent of General Surgery. Ross Naylor, president of the VSGBI, wrote on a society’s e-newsletter: “In the intervening period, a large amount of work has been undertaken by various members of our society to prepare more detailed submissions and to develop an approved curriculum and FRCS Exit examination.”

At last year’s VSGBI Annual General Meeting (AGM), the then president Peter Lamont reported that the application still awaited changes before finally being approved by the Secretary of State for Health.

Naylor continued: “The General Medical Council has approved the new Vascular Curriculum, albeit with recognition that there is still some work to be done regarding the Exit Examination. The Joint Surgical Colleges Meeting has approved the development of a Vascular Examination Board, and a Shadow Examination Board chairman (Professor Julian Scott) will join the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations this May.”

“In practical terms, this means that in the spring of 2013 we will be interviewing and recruiting our first tranche of trainees into ST3 and ST4 posts to start in October 2013. The society will provide further information regarding recruitment into the training programme at a later date and, at the 2012 AGM in Manchester, we will be devoting a symposium towards discussing the likely structure of the new training programme as well as the composition and role of the new Vascular SAC.”


Vascular SAC membership

With the creation of the new specialty, the opportunity to be a founder member of the SAC for Vascular Surgery has arisen. According to the VSGBI , this will be a challenging role involving helping establish training new vascular programmes across the UK, running a national selection process and assisting the Schools of Surgery and Deaneries with the quality assurance of these programmes.

Applications for vascular surgeons with experience of surgical training are sought. It is aimed to establish the full Vascular SAC by October 2012 at the latest. The job description and person specifications can be downloaded from the JCST website here (under the “SAC Membership vacancies” section; and then “Vascular Surgery Application Pack”).  Further information or discussion about the role can be sought from Professor Cliff Shearman, Chair of the Vascular Surgery SAC at [email protected]. The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 1 June 2012.