There was a little bit of Lahore spirit in Glasgow this morning, as a twinning arrangement between the two cities was signed at the Royal Hospital for Children.
Back in 2001, the Royal Hospital for Sick Hospital at Yorkhill began a twinning programme with the Children's Hospital and Institute of Child Health in Lahore to exchange knowledge and expertise. The Lahore hospital serves a local population of 10 million and a wider population in the Punjab of 60 million people. Since then the two hospitals have enjoyed a rich collaboration, working together on projects, staff exchanges, learning and education.
Professor Masood Sadiq made the journey from Lahore to renew the relationship with the new Royal Hospital for Children, which replaced Yorkhill in 2015. The new memorandum of understanding was signed in the hospital’s atrium.
Children from the two hospitals also joined in the celebrations, with groups from both countries recording Scottish and Pakistani songs which were exchanged at the event.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chairman John Brown said: “We were delighted to welcome Professor Sadiq to our new children’s hospital here in Glasgow. The relationship between the two hospitals has been so fruitful over the years, so it was great to be able to renew that now that we have our new state-of-the-art hospital up and running.
“This arrangement links us to an important emerging institution in a developing country. But there’s also a real benefit for medics here in Glasgow. The Pakistani origin community here in the city forms part of our patient population, and come mainly from the area around Lahore. The twinning increases staff knowledge and understanding of the cultural origins of this group, as well as enhancing relationships with the community.
“We can’t forget that the twinning arrangement is all about how we can make the treatment and facilities for children in both cities the best it possibly can be. It was lovely seeing the children involved and we really enjoyed hearing ‘Oh ye canny shove yer granny aff a bus’ although I’m not sure how much of it will be understood in Lahore!”
Professor Masood Sadiq said: “We at the Children’s Hospital and Institute of Child Health Lahore are excited and consider this a good time to renew this twinning relationship and give it a necessary stimulus. Through a mutual strive for excellence there are opportunities for further professional interaction, education and training exchange programs and research collaboration.
“I shall also emphasize that this is not a one-way relationship. It is of course in our benefit but we believe that the rich and vast pool of clinical material could be a major source of exposure and clinical experience for your trainees, nurses and even consultants. There are huge collaborative research prospects in areas like endocrinology, gastroenterology, metabolic and congenital disorders where access to specialized investigations through a mutual arrangement can lead to major breakthroughs in various areas.”
The Lord Provost Sadie Docherty and the Pakistani Consul to Scotland Muhammad Rumman Ahmed were special guests at the twinning event.