Generous gift will help fight vascular disease and prevent limb amputations

Our University and Leicester’s Hospitals have received a generous gift of £5.15 million by fashion retailer George Davies – the largest from an individual in the University’s history - to give hope to patients who face losing a leg because of poor circulation.

The founder of the highly successful high street brands Next (based in Leicestershire), George at Asda and Per Una for Marks & Spencer aims to make a difference for patients who have poor circulation in the leg and to prevent these patients from undergoing an amputation procedure.

The record-breaking gift will be announced at the opening of a new Vascular Limb Salvage Clinic (VaLS) at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester where George Davies will meet academic leaders and clinicians who will showcase the world-leading cardiovascular research taking place in Leicester and tour the new facilities.

Worldwide, every 30 seconds a limb is amputated due to peripheral vascular disease, with a major amputation taking place every two hours in the UK. With thousands of people in the UK affected by peripheral vascular disease and poor circulation, George Davies wanted to bring awareness to a cause that could be prevented with further research.

George Davies, fashion innovator, design guru and retail legend, said:

“The work of the George Davies Charitable Trust is extremely close to my heart. We support education and health causes in both the UK and internationally. Our most recent project involves vascular care and poor leg circulation, working with surgeons, doctors, nurses, NHS specialists and researchers in Leicester. The outcome will be to improve communication with patients and to offer open access for patients using the service. This will allow patients to be seen within 24 hours and treated in a matter of days, vastly reducing the need for amputations.”

The gift will fund the George Davies Chair of Vascular Surgery to be held by Professor Rob Sayers from our Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and support a clinical and research initiative to investigate different ways to improve outcomes for these patients. It will also establish the Vascular Limb Salvage Clinic (VaLS) to allow a limb salvage team to identify and treat patients with poor leg circulation quickly and prevent amputation.

BBC East Midlands feature: