Published: Friday, December 20th, 2013

Chair blog: a year in review



As 2013 comes to an end, what better opportunity to not only reflect on some of the fantastic accomplishments of the past 12 months, but also to look forward to 2014 and the exciting possibilities it has in store.


Across our services, we continued to excel by paving the way with new technologies and procedures.


We made headlines around the world thanks to our involvement in the groundbreaking PRAMI trial, which found evidence to suggest that preventative angioplasty following a heart attack has the potential to save the lives of thousands of patients every year (read more: 


In 2013 we also had the privilege of beginning our participation in the UK’s first gene therapy trial for advanced heart failure. As one of only two UK centres to be running the CUPID 2 trial, we aim to help establish the effectiveness of the MYDICAR treatment, a genetically targeted enzyme replacement therapy. In an earlier phase of the trial, evidence was found that MYDICAR has the potential to dramatically reduce frequency of death, hospitalisations, transplants, the need for a mechanical heart and worsening condition in end stage heart failure patients. (read more:


In Orthopaedics, we were also delighted to announce the findings of our research into Computer Assisted Hip Arthroplasty revealed that this technique could increase accuracy by over 20 per cent (read more:  And our Orthopaedics Department continued to pioneer our enhanced recovery programme, getting patients back on their feet on the day of surgery, which is now being rolled out across other NHS Boards and other specialities here in the Golden Jubilee.


As 2014 approaches, we are looking forward to a period of development and growth as a national resource for NHSScotland. Our Ophthalmology Department is set to double its capacity, allowing us to accommodate approximately 10 per cent of all cataract patients in NHSScotland.


We will be looking for new ways to effectively utilise our campus, work with local authority partners to support Health and Social Care Integration, and to continue to grow our important portfolio of research.


Going in to 2014, innovation will be at the heart of our culture at the Jubilee as we strive to constantly develop and implement effective new ideas. We were recently joined by Dr Heather Reid OBE and representatives from leading creative technology organisations as we launched our Innovation Hub; a dedicated space within the hospital designed to encourage and foster new ideas from everyone in our team. Even the smallest improvement can make a huge difference to the lives of our patients – and that small improvement can range across clinical discovery to providing consistent, person centred care.


We have many examples to demonstrate this but let me share the story of  one of our recent heart transplant patients, Brian Keeley.   


Brian, 51, is celebrating a miraculous recovery and being home in time for Christmas following a life-saving, emergency heart transplant received just over a month ago.


Brian was admitted to the Golden Jubilee at the start of the summer after suffering a major heart attack as a result of a blockage in his main heart artery, a condition which is usually fatal.


After a series of emergency operations, Brian was placed on a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) for three months as our medical team worked tirelessly to get him to a clinical state where he would be eligible for a heart transplant, his only realistic chance of recovering.  


During this extremely difficult and uncertain time, Brian and his, then, girlfriend Bibo decided to get married and had the ceremony in his Intensive Care Unit bed in front of several members of their families - and an attentive audience of nurses and doctors.


Finally, it was decided that Brian was eligible and just two weeks after being placed on the donor list, he underwent a successful heart transplant. Thanks to the efforts of our team, we are delighted that Brian was able to make it home in time for Christmas to enjoy the festive season with his new bride and family.  (Read more:



This is just one of the many incredible stories to come out of the GJNH every year, and in 2014 we will try our very best to make sure we provide even more happy endings for our patients, their friends and families.


From all of us at the Golden Jubilee, we wish you a very merry Christmas and good health in the New Year. 


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