Airdrie & Shotts parliamentarians Neil Gray MSP and Anum Qaisar-Javed MP have sent in a submission to NHS Lanarkshire agreeing with the health board’s plan to place the elective orthopaedic centre at the new Monklands Hospital.
In their document, they make note of the fact that neither University Hospital Hairmyres nor University Hospital Wishaw have the capacity to house elective orthopaedics without relying on capacity from elsewhere whereas the new hospital has yet to be fully designed so incorporating the service will be straightforward.
The parliamentarians also highlighted the time and money savings of siting the services in Airdrie compared to the cost of having patients seen at the Golden Jubilee or private hospitals, not to mention the travel time for patients and visitors.
Local MSP Mr Gray said: “I am delighted that NHS Lanarkshire’s preferred option is to locate elective orthopaedic surgery in the new Monklands Hospital. It makes sense for the most state-of-the-art, digitally equipped facility in the area, not to mention the country, houses elective services.
“This will complete the reorganisation that started in 2016, that Alex Neil and I supported to ensure trauma and elective orthopaedic surgery was specialised and safe for our constituents. It’s clear that reorganisation has been a success and moving elective orthopaedics to the new Monklands will further enhance services available to our constituents.
“I have urged my constituents to back this proposal and look forward to seeing the future plans for the new hospital.”
Westminster counterpart Mrs Qaisar-Javed added: "Moving elective orthopaedics into the new Monklands hospital is a sound and reasoned proposal. What the new hospital offers is an opportunity to create tailored, state-of-the-art, facilities that will improve the quality of care and allow us to significantly expand orthopaedics capacity within NHS Lanarkshire. In recent years, there has been a significant number of referrals to other hospitals, including the Golden Jubilee. By moving services across, we can reduce that reliance on referrals and ensure that patients are seeing a greater level of continuity in their care.
"Of course, when Monklands is finished, it will be one of the most modern and cutting-edge hospitals in the UK. It's only natural that it will attract some of the best and brightest surgeons, doctors and nursing staff. In that context, I think we have the perfect opportunity to create a world-class orthopaedics unit, in Monklands, and I support this move."
View the full submission below:
NHS Lanarkshire Elective Orthopaedic Surgery Consultation
Submission from Anum Qaisar-Javed MP and Neil Gray MSP
We are writing as the parliamentary elected members representing the constituency covering Monklands Hospital to submit our views for consideration on the future of elective orthopaedic surgery in Lanarkshire.
We support the proposal to move elective orthopaedic surgery in the new Monklands Hospital and we do so for a number of reasons set out below.
Firstly, as a new build hospital the new Monklands Hospital design is still to be confirmed and capacity for this service can easily be absorbed and created in the new hospital. We note it is preferred that both trauma and elective orthopaedic services are delivered at one site and that neither Hairmyres, nor Wishaw has the capacity to deliver elective surgery alone. Indeed, currently elective surgery is being delivered on an interim basis across two sites – Wishaw and Hairmyres.
When trauma and orthopaedic services were being reorganised in 2016 as the then MSP and MP, Alex Neil and Neil Gray supported the reorganisation. The plan was supported for healthcare and safety reasons, it was clear that providing both services on a separate and single site was the right thing to maximise surgical safety, healthcare outcomes for patients and to ensure staffing challenges could be managed. The challenges facing the trauma and elective orthopaedic services in 2016 were profound and we are pleased to note that the reorganisation has been a success in sustaining and enhancing services. We believe that moving elective orthopaedics to the new Monklands Hospital will complete the reorganisation that was started in 2016.
Secondly, we are pleased that moving elective orthopaedic services to the new Monklands Hospital will stop the need to transfer patients to the Golden Jubilee Hospital and to the private sector. This will save NHS Lanarkshire significant resources and ensure patient journeys are consistent and timeous.
Thirdly, we believe that the new Monklands Hospital will be the most modern and state of the art digital hospital in the UK when it is built. It makes sense to take advantage of the new modern clinical setting and to maximise the services provided there.
Finally, we feel this provides a great opportunity to expand existing or new services in Hairmyres Hospital to provide for patients across Lanarkshire.
While supporting the need for specialising trauma and orthopaedic services on single and separate sites, we would like to reiterate calls that have previously been made for NHS Lanarkshire to work with public transport provides to ensure all hospital settings are more accessible for patients. A circular bus service operating between the three hospital sites would be of great assistance to patients and visitors.
We encourage the board of NHS Lanarkshire to consider this and approve the plan to move elective orthopaedic services to the new Monklands Hospital.