A new £15.8m specialist eye centre has been opened to the public by the health secretary.
The NHS Golden Jubilee Eye Centre in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, is the first of a raft of national elective centres (NECs) and has the capacity to perform 18,000 cataracts procedures each year.
The Scottish Government pledged investment in 2015 to build the NECs across the country, with the eye centre tailored to deal with the needs of an ageing population in Scotland.
Jeane Freeman, who opened the centre on Friday, said: “Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, this eye centre is testimony to the commitment and dedication of all involved in making this service a reality.
“Its purpose is to meet the needs of our growing elderly population, which rightly increases demand on the health service, particularly for those elective procedures which are strongly correlated with older age.
“The NHS Golden Jubilee Eye Centre already completes around 18% of all cataract treatment in Scotland and will be able to carry out over 18,000 procedures a year in this specialty.
“Receiving referrals from across Scotland, the eye centre will be a leading light for other national elective centres over the next few years.”
An innovative “twin theatre” design is meant to speed up the process of cataract procedures by allowing patients to be prepped in one theatre while a medic carries out treatment on another in the adjoining theatre.
Jann Gardner, the chief executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, said the centre was a “remarkable example” of innovative healthcare facilities specifically created, tailored and designed for cataract patients.
She added: “It is purpose-built with six theatres, in addition to integrated outpatients and diagnostic facilities.
“Its design allows our teams to work in the most modern ways, as well as providing the most accessible and comfortable experience for our patients as possible.”
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