A WEST of Scotland hospital has the fastest time in the UK for carrying out a potentially life-saving treatment on heart attack victims.

Health Secretary Alex Neil praised staff at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank, West Dunbarton-shire, who take just 21 minutes from when a patient first comes through the doors to carry out a "balloon angioplasty".

The procedure, a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCCI), is a specialist treatment which improves the chance of survival after a heart attack and reduces the likelihood of patients suffering permanent damage.

It involves doctors placing a balloon in a blocked artery and then inflating it, allowing for a stent to be inserted, ensuring blood can flow to the heart.

Mr Neil said: "As a major heart and lung centre, the Golden Jubilee has an outstanding track record in 'door to balloon' treatment times - leading the UK on this treatment is a remarkable achievement.

"The fact this process takes just 21 minutes is a tribute to the dedication not only from staff at the Golden Jubilee, but across Scotland's NHS."