Review of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme

The current service for the delivery of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Service provided is due to expire on 31st March 2023.  We are therefore reviewing aspects of the AAA service to enhance and improve its delivery from the 1st April 2023. 

The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme delivered across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) aims to save lives in men over 65 by detecting the early signs of an aortic aneurysm, which has the potential to rupture, leading to death in a high proportion of cases. Screening is undertaken using non-invasive ultrasound, with any onwards referral for surgical treatment being through existing vascular services (Sheffield or Doncaster).  The screening programme invites all men aged 65 for screening; those over 65 who request screening will also be eligible for a test, on request.

The AAA service is very specific in how it is delivered based on a National (evidenced- based) Service Specification. As well as the service being targeted at men (who, evidence has shown are most at risk), the specification details the required specialised workforce to deliver the AAA programme and that the service must be delivered in communities (outside of hospitals) as this is known to increase the number of people who access it.

Whilst recognising that we need to meet the national requirements, we would really welcome your views about the service, to help us shape it for the future.  We are particularly interested in how we can improve on and encourage attendance, including when and where the service should be offered, and any support that could be put in place so that all men aged 65 years can access the AAA programme in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

Tell us what you think – link to survey click here

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening

The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to your body. It runs from your heart through your chest and abdomen (stomach).

As some people get older, the wall of the aorta in the abdomen can become weak. It can then start to expand and form what is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Large aneurysms can be life threatening. The risk of AAA increases if you smoke, have high blood pressure, or a close relative (parent, brother or sister) has had an AAA.


Who can have AAA screen?

Men aged 65 will be invited to an ultrasound AAA screening appointment using the information held about you at your GP surgery.

If your AAA ultrasound scan is healthy you will not need to have another one. You may be invited back for monitoring if an aneurysm (of any size) is detected and you may be offered other treatments. You will find out the results of your scan on the day of your AAA scan appointment.

The screening programme is aimed at men because men are six times more likely to have this type of aneurysm than women. Around one in 25 men between 65-74 are thought to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The AAA screen is a one-off screen using an ultrasound scan to check for an aneurysm.  Men over 65 who have not been screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm can also refer themselves for a screen.

For more information about the AAA Screening Service you can go to NHS.UK and for information about the current South Yorkshire AAA Screening Programme delivered by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospital can be found here (that includes a service walk-through video).


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