Recent Posts



High Street Fashion King Funds Pioneering Clinic - Press Release

Leicester Vascular Clinic Revolutionises Diagnostic Services and Prevents Amputations Thanks to Retail Guru George Davies.

George Davies, fashion innovator behind clothing brands such as Next, Per Una and George at Asda, has funded an award-winning Vascular Limb Salvage (VaLS) clinic at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, through the Leicester Hospitals Charity. Passionate about philanthropy George is a long-term supporter of national charity, Circulation Foundation, through the George Davies Charitable Trust.

The fashion entrepreneur, who founded some of the nation's favourite brands, donated £5.15 million pounds to the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS trust in 2017. The first of its kind, the VaLS clinic is pioneering ground-breaking research into vascular disease and provides the only rapid-access service in the UK.

George funded the clinic in memory of his late mother, Mary, who battled vascular disease throughout her later life. Mary was given surgery, but as the disease was not identified early enough, her leg had to be amputated. This is very common, vascular disease is endemic in the UK, currently affecting 1 in 5 over 60s. In addition to this, a major amputation takes place every 2 hours. Timely treatment is crucial to saving limbs in patients suffering from vascular disease, and George has devoted himself to providing a solution to the long wait times patients face in an effort to reduce the need for life changing amputation.

The highly successful VaLS clinic is now in its third year of operation. The clinic has revolutionised the process from diagnosis to treatment by providing rapid access to vascular specialists for adult patients suffering from suspected Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia (CLTI) within two days of referral. Patients attending the VaLS undergo a clinical assessment, where their risk of amputation is graded and specialist treatment plans are developed. The clinic offers fast-track slots for surgery and provides outpatient follow-ups to ensure that all patients are given the care they need. As it is an outpatient clinic, patients do not face long wait times in hospitals, reducing the risk of infection.

So far, George's donation has enabled the treatment of over 1000 patients, with a 50% decrease in the number of major limb amputations since the clinic was established. For those who do require amputation, a less-severe procedure often suffices. This means faster rehabilitation and a much-improved quality of life. By streamlining this service, the clinic is providing a cost-effective solution and dramatically improving patient outcomes and recovery rates. At present, this kind of diagnostic clinic is not funded by the NHS, due to gaps in government funding. George and the VaLS team are therefore determined to continue their vital work in reducing the need for amputations and to seeing this important service made accessible in other areas of the UK.

George Davies says: Giving back and supporting Leicester's Hospitals is very dear to my heart. My mother had surgery at a time when quick and timely intervention was not possible, resulting in the loss of one of her legs. The VaLS clinic is a leading light, bringing cutting edge skills to patients who might otherwise face long wait times, putting them at increased risk. Making this treatment possible for so many patients over the past three years has been extremely rewarding. Over the last three years, the medical team have seen 1,020 patients with Critical Ischemia (very poor circulation that could have resulted in loss of their limb) and have saved 819 limbs from amputation! Together, we have worked hard to raise awareness of the severity of this illness, with life-changing results.

Rob Davies, consultant vascular surgeon and clinical director of VaLS says: The clinic's success can be defined by two important outcomes: the reduction in the rate of major limb amputations, and the speed with which this has been achieved. Ensuring that the success of this clinic can be replicated across the UK is central to our purpose and we are proud to be pioneering a full research programme as well as an educational initiative that aims to improve the knowledge and skills of senior vascular surgical trainees. All of this has been made possible thanks to the generous donation we received from George Davies.

Rob Sayers, George Davies Chair of Vascular Surgery, says: The George Davies Vascular Team is unique because it combines an NHS limb salvage clinic with a University of Leicester research team who are committed to saving legs and improving patient care. Through cutting edge research we have shown that it is possible to treat patients faster and more efficiently and this leads to a major reduction in amputation rates and saves legs.