The way people on the Fylde coast are treated for varicose veins could be changing

Stock image of varicose veins
Stock image of varicose veins
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NHS bosses on the Fylde coast want to alter the policy for treating varicose veins.

It comes as part of a wider move to standardise policies across Lancashire and south Cumbria. If approved following a public consultation, specific criteria would have to be met for treatment – which would not be given solely for cosmetic reasons.

Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and clinical lead with NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and clinical lead with NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group

For the first time, an ultrasound scan would have to be carried out to “confirm the diagnosis of varicose veins,” documents said.

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs and feet. They may be blue or dark purple, and are often lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.

Other criteria for treatment include patients having a healed or active venous leg ulcer; or well-documented episodes of recurrent superficial vein thrombosis (thrombophlebitis); bleeding from a varicosity; or lower limb skin changes such as pigmentation or eczema.

Criterion relating to progressive and/or painful ulcers despite treatment has been removed from the proposed policy, and now simply refers to having an ulcer.

Compression hosiery to treat the problem would also not be offered unless other treatment is unsuitable.

Dr Amanda Doyle, accountable officer for both Blackpool and Fylde and Wyre CCGs, responsible for organising and paying for residents’ health care, said they wanted to be transparent – “while taking into account the limited resources we have”.

To view the proposed policy and complete the survey, people living in Fylde and Wyre should visit www.fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/your-health/say-clinical-policy-reviews while those in Blackpool should visit www.blackpoolccg.nhs.uk/harmonisation

The survey will close on Friday, October 19, 2018.