First patients at Stobhill impressed with facility

GLASGOW'S newest hospital has opened its doors in the north of the city and one of New Stobhill Hospital's first patients has given the facility a resounding thumbs up.

Winifred Findlay, 90, of Kirkintilloch, was given a preview of the hospital yesterday.

"It's a very nice building. It's clean and clinical-looking. I'm impressed!" said the pensioner. TIMES FILE: Minor Injuries Units THE Minor Injuries Units at both new hospitals will be part of a network of similar MIUs across the city. They will be closely linked to the local A&E department and have support from medical staff trained in emergency medicine.

Minor injuries include broken bones, back shoulder and rib injuries, cuts, grazes, sprains, infected wounds and minor burns and scalds.

MIUs will not deal with serious injuries or illnesses, pregnancy or alcohol and drug-related problems.

Around half of patients who currently attend A&E departments can be seen at a Minor Injuries Unit.

Health bosses say creating separate MIUs means more seriously injured patients can be seen more quickly at full-blown A&Es.

And while it's not short on airy good looks, the £100million New Stobhill Hospital has been designed to be at the leading edge of health care.

NHS bosses say the facility, completed on time and on budget, marks a revolution in care.

Stobhill is one of two new hospitals for Glasgow, along with the New Victoria, due to open on June 8.

In 2005 campaigners during angry public meetings mounted a battle to retain in-patient beds and casualty services at Stobhill Hospital.

The new hospital has no Accident and Emergency unit but does have a Minor Injuries Unit for less serious problems.

The nearest A&E will be the city's Royal Infirmary.

The way both new Glasgow hospitals have been designed means that 30,000 surgical patients a year who would previously have needed an overnight stay can have their operations as day procedures.

The number of procedures on offer has increased due to advances in surgery, anaesthetics, drugs and technology.

There will be over 150 procedures routinely performed as day surgery.

These include hernia repair, removal of breast lumps, examinations and operations of the hands, feet, knee and shoulder, removal of tonsils, investigations of infertility, removal of cataracts, correction of squints, and examination and bladder operations.

Dr Brian Cowan, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medical Director, said: "Health professionals believe these two significant hospitals will deliver more swift treatment, fewer hospital visits and enable NHS staff to work more effectively."

Bosses say services in the new hospitals have been redesigned around the needs of the patients.

As well as day surgery the hospitals will provide traditional outpatient clinics and also new one-stop clinics where patients can have a number of appointments on the same hospital visit.

The hospitals will also offer a range of diagnostic services and specialist services such as cardiology, renal dialysis and gynaecology.

Both hospitals are bristling with the latest technology including MRI scanners, a first for Stobhill and Victoria patients who previously had to travel to other sites for this. A total of 12 short-stay surgical beds will support the work at each of the sites. Known as 23-hour beds, these enable clinicians to extend the range of procedures offered and allow patients who do not have a carer to stay in hospital overnight to complete their post-surgery recovery.

Both hospitals will also have Minor Injuries Units, open between 9am and 9pm seven days a week, staffed by emergency nurse practitioners.

Margaret Campbell, commissioning manager at New Stobhill, said: "One thing that strikes you is just how big and bright the building is.

"A lot of people who previously worked in Glasgow Royal and rarely saw daylight have been delighted with what's been achieved here.

"We wanted to design a hospital around efficient patient care that did not compromise staff flow. I think they've done a marvellous job. It's very pleasing and very exciting.

"We'll deal with 400,000 patients in this building every year, and replac-ing all the buildings of the old Stobhill means staff work closer together."

Mrs Findlay added: "I remember visiting friends and family at the old hospital. This is much better. It's simple to find your way round."

However, her daughter, Alison Kerr, 60, lamented the loss of the architecture of the older hospitals, saying: "This doesn't feel like a hospital. They've got rid of the Victorian buildings which I feel is a shame." Margaret Campbell said staff are pleased with the modern facilities in the bright and airy New Stobhill £30M boost will fund equipment

By Sarah Swain HOSPITAL patients across Glasgow will benefit from the lion's share of £30million pledged to health boards by the Scottish Government for new equipment.

Almost £8m will allow NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to buy specialist equipment including blood pressure monitors, ultrasounds, mobile X-ray units, endoscopes and MRI scanners.

The cash was announced by Public Health Minister Shona Robison who visited the £100m New Victoria Hospital in Glasgow to see a new £1.1m MRI scanner bought with last year's medical equipment cash being installed.

Ms Robison said: "This funding for medical equipment will ensure that patients across Scotland continue to benefit from state-of-the-art facilities.

"And it means our NHS staff working on the frontline will have the equipment they need to carry out their jobs most effectively."

The investment forms part of a record sum given to NHS Scotland of more than £11billion for the year.

That is on top of nearly £9bn provided for the day-to-day running of health services and new buildings.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We welcome the announcement of an additional funding allocation of £7.8m for medical equipment.

"Having the latest equipment ensures our patients are getting the best NHS service available. The opening of the new Stobhill and Victoria Hospitals will offer first class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment transforming local services."

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board was given £2m of the equipment cash and patients in Lanarkshire will benefit from £3m.

As reported in the Evening Times the new MRI scanner means that, for the first time, patients from north Glasgow, east Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire will be able to have tests done locally.

It is estimated around 16 patients a day will use the scanner.