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Acute Aortic Dissection Pathway Toolkit

4.5.2a AAD Toolkit Interactive

Acute Aortic Dissection Toolkit

AAD Self-Assessment Questionnaire

The NHS has recently published the Acute Aortic Dissection Pathway Toolkit. The need for producing such a toolkit is very well set out in Appendix 2: Background and Context, page 24 onwards of the attached toolkit document. Appropriate references are quoted as well.

To summarise the context, there is published and demonstrated unwarranted variation in the UK in the provision of treatment of conditions of the thoracic aorta. There are a few examples where significant improvement in outcomes after emergency treatment of acute type A aortic dissection has been achieved after changing the model of care provided.

The document sets out seven important principles that are at the helm of the toolkit. Regional variation in the implementation of the principles is anticipated due to geography, size of units, expertise available in the region etc, hence the document is not prescriptive. However the principles remain important and should underpin any proposed changes within regions. The principles aim to improve outcomes for patients by harnessing regional skill mix to benefit the maximum number of patients, improving governance, encouraging regular MDT working and educating doctors and paramedics and equip them to diagnose acute aortic emergencies rapidly and consistently.

Two national patient groups/charities are heavily invested into improving management of acute aortic emergencies and they have offered support in helping regions develop their services in line with the principles stated in the toolkit. They are very supportive of this move from the NHS, and if anything, would probably like this to be extended to rationalizing and improving the provision of elective services for aortic conditions in the future.

SCTS is fully supportive of this toolkit and would strongly encourage its membership to study the document and start engaging with regional partners. It is time to move towards breaking down traditional artificial boundaries and start looking beyond individual unit interests, keeping in mind the sole objective of improving clinical outcomes for patients who suffer from these acute life threatening conditions.



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