Regional Endoscopy Unit Officially Opened

The new regional Endoscopy Unit at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline officially opened today (29th July 2014) by Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.

As well as providing a local service for Fife patients, the unit will also provide diagnostic and surveillance tests for regional patients from NHS Lothian and NHS Forth Valley. Up to 7,000 patients are expected to use the facilities each year.

The £1.8 million purpose-built unit, which opened to Fife patients at the end of May, comprises two procedure rooms and eight assessment rooms, alongside excellent admission and recovery facilities. Pre and post procedure care is separated, and there is increased privacy for patients.

The facilities also include a new, modern endoscopy reprocessing unit, used to clean endoscopy equipment.

NHS Lothian patients have already begun to access the unit since the middle of July, with NHS Forth Valley patients expected to use the unit in the coming months.

During his visit Mr Neil will speak to patients who have recently been treated in the unit.

Samuel Stevenson, from Glenrothes, is one of the patients who will meet the Cabinet Secretary.

Talking about his recent experience, Mr Stevenson said: “The care I received in the unit was excellent. I felt well informed coming in thanks to the literature I’d received prior to my visit and staff made sure I was kept up-to-date on the day.

“It’s a pleasant and welcoming place, with caring and courteous staff – they really made the whole visit easier than I had expected.”

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, said: “This wonderful new facility will see patients from Fife, Lothian and Forth Valley get quicker access to endoscopy and recovery services in a modern and purpose built environment.

“Getting high quality health services as close to home as possible is what the people of Scotland want, and something that this Government is determined to give them.

“I am delighted this development is now open to the people across all of South East Scotland and I would thank everyone involved in making this happen.”

Dr Brian Montgomery, NHS Fife Medical Director, said: “This new unit, which replaces existing facilities on-site, provides a significantly improved environment in which to deliver high quality care.

“Equipped with the latest endoscopy and monitoring facilities, the unit will not only benefit patients from across Fife, but those from the South East Scotland region.

“A great deal of work is already underway to develop diagnostic and treatment facilities at Queen Margaret Hospital; this unit represents an important milestone in that development.”

Dr. David Farquharson, Medical Director at NHS Lothian said: “A number of our patients have already been able to take advantage of the new service and we’re confident it will prove to be a vital resource in helping us to continue to provide swift and effective care.

“The regional unit will see up to 50 NHS Lothian patients a week who will benefit from its state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.”

David McPherson, NHS Forth Valley’s General Manager for Surgical Services, said: “Patients in Forth Valley already have the option of having their endoscopy performed in Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert or at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.  The opening of this new regional unit will further increase capacity and give local patients the additional option of having the procedure carried out in Fife.”