Vascular Surgery Workforce: Evaluation and Estimation of Future Demand in the United Kingdom.

Published:September 16, 2022DOI:

      Article Highlights

      • The United Kingdom has a shortage of vascular surgeons
      • Current ratio of vascular surgeon to capita population is 1 per 128,951
      • An estimated 800 consultants required by 2030 to keep up with workload demands
      • Increase in national training numbers urgently needed



      Vascular disease is a common cause of death and disability in our growing elderly population, and demand for vascular procedures is increasing worldwide. Workforce planning is essential to meet future demand and provide safe vascular services. Our aim was to evaluate the current workforce in the United Kingdom (UK) and estimate future demand for vascular surgeons.


      November 2020 to January 2021, we surveyed UK vascular surgeons for information on their work-patterns. We estimated current vascular surgery (VS) workforce using the National Vascular Registry (NVR) data and population data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). To estimate future demand we interrogated Hospital Episode Statistic (HES) data using Hospital Admitted Patient Care Activity (HAPCA) and linear trend analysis.


      NVR data estimates that currently there are 518 consultant VS in the UK, or 1 per 128,951 population, lower than international comparisons. HAPCA data (2012 to 2020) suggests VS Finished Consultant Episodes (FCE), admissions and waiting lists are growing by approximately 2% per year and we estimate the workforce will need to grow by more than 50% over the next 10 years to meet this demand and VSGBI recommendation.


      The UK has a shortage of vascular surgeons, at a time when vascular activity is increasing. The VS workforce, both VS consultant and vascular surgeons-in-training (VSIT) numbers need to expand to address the ongoing shortage and maintain a safe level of service.


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