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19/08/14 11:03

Transforming surgical care

NHS patients to get pioneering robotically assisted surgery.

Scottish patients will soon be able to benefit from state-of-the-art robotic surgery, which will improve their quality of life following surgery.

The Scottish Government is investing up to £1 million to complement the fundraising efforts of UCAN, the urological cancer charity in the North of Scotland, to purchase a robot that surgeons use to perform minimally invasive surgery – initially for prostate cancer.

Scotland’s first Robotic-Assisted Surgical System (RASS) will operate from two new state-of-the-art theatres at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, with the first patient expected to benefit from the advanced surgical techniques early next year.

This is the start of a process to deliver nationwide robotically assisted surgery and the Scottish Government will continue to work closely with boards and cancer charities to strategically plan who best to deliver these services across Scotland.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

“Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer among men in Scotland. That is why we must do everything to ensure that men have access to the most advanced treatment available.

“The Scottish Government is determined to adopt this kind of surgical innovation that can make such a difference to recovery.

“I am delighted to have met the surgical team at NHS Grampian and heard their hopes for how this innovative technology will transform the care offered to patients in Scotland.

“Surgeons in Scotland have never before had technology quite like this. That is why today’s announcement is just the starting point for robot assisted surgery in Scotland. I want to see robot-assisted surgery available to patients right across the country, with another robot in the central belt within the next three years, and we are already working with health boards and Prostate Scotland to make this happen.

“Scotland has a strong record of leading the way in health innovations and pioneering treatment and robotic surgery offers a glimpse into the future for our NHS.”

Richard Carey, Chief Executive of NHS Grampian said:

“We are delighted that Aberdeen is set to be the first robotic surgery centre in Scotland. This is huge recognition of the ambition of clinical staff and the Board, and the boundless energy and enthusiasm of the UCAN campaign. Whilst Aberdeen will host the first robotic service, we will work closely with other Boards and other centres to develop this exciting approach in Scotland over the coming years.”

UCAN chairman Professor Sam McClinton, a consultant urological surgeon, said:

“This is fantastic news and we would like to thank the Scottish Government for helping us to achieve our aim of bringing Scotland’s first robotic surgical system to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

“We’d also like to thank all those who have supported the Robotic Surgery for North Scotland campaign to date, including the individuals and companies who donated money as well as NHS Grampian and its endowment fund for their generous support.

“UCAN is spearheading the campaign on behalf of the urology, general surgery, ENT and gynaecology teams at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and we are delighted that local people will be able to benefit from the very latest technology, which has numerous benefits to patients.”

The Scottish Government has established a working group to work with health boards and the prostate cancer charities across the country to plan the introduction of this technology, including maximising the use of this technology to ensure access for patients across the country.

Background

Robotic surgery, computer-assisted surgery, and robotically-assisted surgery are terms for technological developments that use robotic systems to aid in surgical procedures.