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Transformational service inspired by ‘Boy David’ to be led by Glasgow surgeons

Monday, September 14, 2020

Forty years on from the inspiring story of ‘Boy David’, Glasgow, with its world-renowned plastic surgeons is to be home to a transformational NHS service for children with facial deformities.

Glasgow has led the world in this remarkable area since Professor Ian Jackson, Professor Khursheed Moos and Mr Rab Hide established a service for craniofacial deformities in the 1980s.

Professor Ian Jackson, who died earlier this month in the United States, took a toddler called David Lopez to his heart after he was abandoned by his natural family in the Peruvian Amazon. David was suffering from a rare flesh-eating disease which ravaged his nose, upper lip and cheeks. Professor Jackson operated on David over 100 times and went on to adopt him into his family.

The surgical expertise in Glasgow developed over the years has now been recognised and been commissioned by NHS National Services Scotland to provide a national service for the children and young people of Scotland with craniofacial deformities. It will be hosted at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children and is expected to provide care for over 220 children and young people a year.

David Koppel, Clinical lead for the new service and Clinical Director of Surgery in the Royal Hospital for Children, said: “The West of Scotland has been leading internationally in the provision of Craniofacial Surgery for over 40 years and the service was primarily established by Professor Ian Jackson, Professor Khursheed Moos and Mr Rab Hide.

“It is really gratifying that this service now has formal recognition and hopefully will continue to grow and continue striving to provide the best possible craniofacial care to the Scottish population. This is a testament to all the hard work of the multiple specialties and individuals involved in providing this specialist care.

“Surgery of this kind is literally life-changing for these children; transformational even. The aim is to improve the quality of life for children and young people across Scotland and will provide a specialist multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, surgery and the ongoing care of craniofacial cases that may have resulted from congenital disease, tumour or trauma involving both the floor of the skull and the bones and tissue of the face.”

A dedicated multi-disciplinary team will see and treat patients affected by one or more craniofacial deformities from hydrocephalus (water on the brain) to complex malignant tumours.

The team will work closely with colleagues from different disciplines including neurosurgery, oral & maxillofacial, clinical genetics, allied health professionals, speech and language, ear nose & throat, ophthalmology and respiratory.


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Last Updated: 11 November 2021