Pioneering care pledge as £100m hospital welcomes first patients
THE first of two new hospitals, each costing £100 million, opened in Scotland yesterday with the promise to revolutionise patient care.
The New Stobhill Hospital in north Glasgow – built on the same site as the old centre – welcomed the first patients through its doors.
It comes just three weeks before the New Victoria Hospital opens in the city's southside, a short distance from its current site.
Plans to redesign health provision across Scotland, including downgrading some sites and removing A&Es, have caused controversy in recent years.
But yesterday there was praise for the new patient-friendly Stobhill building.
Margaret Watt, of the Scottish Patients Association who has visited the Stobhill site, said: "It's a stunning hospital and I think the patients will appreciate it.
"There is no reason why patients shouldn't feel positive when they go there.
"It's not dark or dingy. It is lovely and light."
Ms Watt said all hospitals should be designed like the Stobhill site in the future.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the new hospital would mean that 30,000 patients needing surgery would be able to be treated as day cases rather than having to stay overnight.
Dr Brian Cowan, the board's medical director, said: "Some of the best clinical teams in the country have been behind the development of this new way of delivering clinical care.
"Health professionals believe these two significant hospitals will improve the patient experience by delivering swifter treatment, fewer hospital visits and enable NHS staff to work more effectively."
The day surgery units at the two hospitals will handle cases such as hernia repair, removal of breast lumps and cataract operations.
The hospitals will provide traditional outpatients' clinics, but also one-stop clinics where patients have a number of different investigations and appointments during the same visit.
Specialist services at both sites will include cardiology, renal dialysis for kidney patients and gynaecology.
Both hospitals will also have minor injury units, which will open from 9am to 9pm every day and be staffed by emergency nurse practitioners.
Some have questioned whether such units can replace traditional A&E departments which have faced closures in recent years.
But NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said around half of patients currently going to A&E could be more appropriately dealt with at minor injury sites.
They said this meant that more seriously injured patients could be seen more quickly in A&E units. Casualty departments at the two old hospitals, and other units, will continue to run for the foreseeable future while services are transferred to the new sites and elsewhere in the city.
The new hospitals will also have MRI scanners for the first time, meaning patients no longer have to travel to other units in Glasgow.
The hospitals are running a "paperlite" system which will be phased in to reduce the amount of paper record and files.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was unable to say what would happen to the sites of the old hospitals, or whether land would be sold.
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