NHS Greater Glasgow has today approved a major consultation exercise on a proposal to create one of the UK's largest specialist heart and lung surgery units at Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.
It was originally planned to deliver the specialist heart and lung surgery unit at Gartnavel General Hospital in 2012 at the earliest - this option would deliver the benefits to thousands of West of Scotland patients six years earlier.
A team of doctors and other staff from NHS Greater Glasgow, NHS Lanarkshire and Golden Jubilee National Hospital have been working together over the past 18 months to examine how this plan might be accelerated by moving these services to modern, fit-for-purpose facilities at Golden Jubilee National Hospital.
One of the lead doctors on the team from Greater Glasgow is cardiothoracic surgeon, Mr Alan Faichney. He said, "The benefits of moving to a single site have already been recognised. The centralisation of the services will create one of the largest specialist units in the UK for the investigation and surgical treatment of cardiac and thoracic patients. Clinical expertise and high-tech equipment will be concentrated on one site, offering patients in the West of Scotland timely, high quality treatment in a modern custom-built facility."
The team have also proposed that planned interventional cardiology for the West of Scotland should be integrated with cardiac surgery in the new Centre.
Mr Faichney continued: "This, for me, is one of the most exciting aspects to the proposal. This would enable us to provide a modern multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of patients with heart disease – and a more seamless service for our patients. For instance, it would be possible to offer a "one-stop" assessment with patients undergoing their diagnostic tests, being seen by the surgeon and being told whether surgery is needed – and when that would take place – all on the same day. It also offers the potential, in the future, for patients to attend for assessment, and if appropriate, to go straight on to definitive treatment – so reducing the number of hospital visits."
Other benefits to patients and staff include:
As part of the proposal, NHS Lanarkshire are also looking to transfer their lung surgery service, currently carried out at Hairmyres Hospital, to Golden Jubilee National Hospital.Mr Dhru Prakash, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon at Hairmyres Hospital, commented:"This is a very exciting proposal to create one of the largest surgical centres in the UK dedicated to the treatment of patients with lung cancer and oesophageal cancer as well as other chest conditions.There are significant benefits this centre could bring to developing future thoracic services and providing access to the latest diagnostic and treatment techniques for patients in the West of Scotland."
The views of patients were a key consideration in developing the overall proposal. Mr Faichney explains:
"We listened to our patients and their carers at an early stage of planning to make sure that the qualities they value in our service could be incorporated into our plans.For instance, patients were keen to have local access to outpatient services and that has been retained. We believe that the proposal we have developed does reflect their wishes but we now wish to test this further – with them and with the public in general."
Dr Ken Ferguson, Medical Director of Golden Jubilee National Hospital, was also on the team. He commented: "This is an exciting proposal which would bring together the expertise from three sites into one state-of-the-art NHS hospital.Golden Jubilee National Hospital is a National Centre that provides the highest quality care and supports other NHS Boards by helping treat patients earlier in several clinical specialities.This proposal would enable us to continue this support and further improve patient services."
A 12-week consultation will now be launched on 10th February, and will include public meetings and opportunities to visit the facilities at Golden Jubilee National Hospital.Comments on all aspects of the consultation paper are welcome.
Notes to Editors:
*Bringing forward the centralisation of adult cardiothoracic inpatient surgical services currently provided at Western Infirmary and Glasgow Royal Infirmary onto one site at least six years earlier than currently planned
*Transferring the national heart transplant service currently provided at Glasgow Royal Infirmary within the cardiac surgery unit
*Co-locating planned and non-emergency interventional cardiology for the West of Scotland with cardiac surgery.
3. Interventional cardiology is a collective term for a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including angiography and balloon angioplasty, used in the treatment of certain heart conditions.Angiography is a diagnostic test that involves injecting radio-opaque dye into the bloodstream to visualise heart blood vessels.Balloon angioplasty is a procedure similar to angiography that involves introducing a balloon into a blood vessel to a site where the blood vessel is narrowed and inflating the balloon to expand the diameter of the vessel.
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