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Isabel Softley - clinical vascular scientist, vascular studies unit

Isabel Softley
Isabel Softley - clinical vascular scientist, vascular studies unit

Non-urgent advice: Profile

Full name

Isabel Softley

Job title/role

clinical vascular scientist


vascular studies unit

Healthcare science specialism

vascular science

What does your job involve?

As a vascular scientist we perform routine and urgent ultrasound scans on blood vessels all over the body except the heart. This means we are involved in the diagnosis of many different diseases; for example, aneurysms, TIA/strokes and peripheral arterial disease, DVT and venous insufficiency. As ultrasound is often the only imaging prior to surgery/intervention, we work closely with the vascular surgeons and specialist nursing team to give them the information they need to proceed.

What role did you and your team play in the COVID-19 response?

Our non-urgent work was paused during the lockdown periods, however we carried on performing our urgent diagnostics for the vascular surgeons. The urgent ‘hot clinic’ was run from our department where patients with urgent vascular issues could attend a face to face appointment with the consultant with the vascular scientists providing immediate imaging and the specialist nurses providing wound care. This helped to prevent many hospital admissions or visits to the very busy A&E department, or sped up the process to further intervention for those who needed urgent care. Throughout the year we maintained our inpatient scanning service, attending patients throughout the trust as a first line of imaging to allow quick and informed decision making by the consultants to optimise care.

What’s the best thing about your job?

We are involved in the diagnosis of a variety of disorders and this means we get to interact with patients from all walks of life and healthcare professionals from all over the hospital. Although a lot of our work will mean we only see patients once; we also have patients on our surveillance list which see regularly and get to know quite well. The results are also instant so you really feel you are contributing to the patient’s pathway through the hospital and putting together pieces of the puzzle for them!