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NHS Not Providing Adequate Training

Vein Specialists in Training
NHS Not Training Vein Specialists

Varicose Vein Treatment is being rationed by the NHS and many people are finding it very difficult to get their veins assessed and treated.

Between 1998 and 2008, the number of patients with varicose veins treated in the NHS fell by over a third!

One of the consequences of this is that doctors in the NHS are not being adequately trained on how to look after people with thread veins, varicose veins and vein complications such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

A large survey carried out by the trainee vascular surgeons themselves and published this year in the prestigious medical journal Phlebology concludes that 78% had not received any formal training in duplex ultrasound scanning, 67% had not received training in VNUS Closure and 39% had no experience at all of endo-venous laser (EVLT). In addition, more than 60% had no experience or training with foam sclerotherapy. This survey of 145 members of the Rouleaux Club ( represents the experience of current UK vascular traineesthe vascular specialists of tomorrow’s NHS who will be treating varicose veins, thread veins and their complications. 

It is clear from this recent survey, that the NHS is not adequately training vein specialists. This is not just my opinion, it is the opinion of our vascular surgical trainees now. Perhaps this is not surprising as less and less vein treatment is provided in the NHS to fewer and fewer people, but is a very worrying trend which appears to be getting worse. It seems that people will have to make their own arrangements for varicose vein removal and spider vein treatment and that the NHS will only treat the very severe complications of vein disease.

I am very interested to know of your views of the NHS. Contact me today to let me know about your experience of NHS treatment of your vein problem. Please leave your comments in the box below.

If you’re worried about your veins or the advice you have had and you would like a confidential chat please do get in touch. I am happy to offer simple advice by telephone and e-mail for free and without obligation.


Scurr JRH et al. Deficiencies in venous experience in UK vascular trainees: a survey of Rouleaux Club members. Phlebology 2011; 26:227-231

Kanwar A et al. Trends in varicose vein therapy in England:radical changes in the last decade. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2010; 92:341-6