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18/07/14 09:30

Faster access for patients to new technology

Golden Jubilee to implement national medical device testing.

New medical devices could be rolled out to Scottish hospitals more quickly under an innovative scheme being piloted by the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

Under the scheme, people across Scotland could have earlier access to high tech medical technology that has the potential to improve the care and treatment of patients.

Clinical experts at the Golden Jubilee have developed a unique process to review and test medical devices that can be used within NHS Scotland – providing a thorough and rigorous testing process that could allow earlier implementation nationally.

The new process will enable individuals and organisations to submit a healthcare related device for review by clinical experts, who will evaluate the device and it potential for use within NHS and the wider healthcare environment.

Health Secretary Alex Neil learned about the process as he visited the Golden Jubilee today to meet staff involved in the creation of their new Innovation Centre, which aims to put NHS Scotland at the forefront of health and social care advances.

The facility will bring together health professionals and clinical experts who will be responsible for turning pioneering ideas into the reality of better treatment for patients.

He said: “Scotland is already a world-leader in developing new treatments within a variety of different specialisms. The Golden Jubilee National Hospital continues to be at the centre of this innovation and has been pivotal in leading ground-breaking surgery for heart disease, complex orthopaedic hip and knee replacements, as well as introducing different ways of delivering anaesthesia.

“The testing and early implementation of new medical devices is crucial to this work and the new testing process at the Golden Jubilee could see earlier roll-outs of new high tech and potentially life-saving medical technology across Scotland’s NHS.

“The government recently announced an initial £100,000 national health & social care innovation fund, which aims to raise millions of pounds, to develop original and pioneering treatments for Scotland’s patients. The Golden Jubilee National Hospital will also work on behalf of NHS Scotland to raise funds for new initiatives from a variety of sources, including donations and European grants.”

Jill Young, Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, added: “To ensure that the people of Scotland have world-leading health services, it is imperative that we can help to introduce and test ideas. This can be either where there is a proof of concept that care or treatment can be delivered better, faster or more appropriately, or indeed where there is no proof of concept, we can enable this development.

“Our process for device testing is just one component of our Board vision to lead quality, research and innovation. Investment and creating business relationships are clearly very important too, as is creating the right environment to encourage NHS staff to improve and create ideas.

“In order to continue to meet patient expectations and provide quality care, we need to be committed to thinking in different ways and doing different things to enhance and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

One example of the work already being carried out at the Golden Jubilee is the development of a programme which allows medical students, trainee doctors and clinicians to practice surgical techniques on 3D models and animations. In the future, it could also be used to help patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options, through seeing a visual representation of what their treatment will involve.

It was also announced that Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (SHIL) will be relocating their base to join the innovation team at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

SHIL has worked with NHS Scotland since 2002 to develop a variety of innovative ideas and projects that have come from NHS staff - from basic ideas to improve patient care, to more complicated research projects.

Notes to editors

Scottish Government news release on the launch of the NHS innovation fund.