Delivering care through collaboration

Celebrating #HeartLung10 and #NHSScot70

July 31, 2018

Hello everyone!  I hope you’re all enjoying the amazing summer were having despite the return to rain!

July was a busy month for us at the Golden Jubilee as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our Heart and Lung Centre and the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

I was delighted that our first heart transplant patient Georgina Burt returned to the Golden Jubilee looking amazing to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of our heart and lung centre.

Some of you will recall that our centre was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen back in July 2008 as part of NHSScotland’s 60th anniversary celebrations.  It only seems like a heartbeat and now here we are celebrating our 70th anniversary. 

We created one of the UK’s largest heart and lung centres by bringing Scotland’s national and cardiothoracic specialists together under one roof for the first time.  The past 10 years has seen our services develop into a highly efficient service which continues to improve outcomes for patients today and will continue to do so for many more years to come.

I’m proud that this service continues to go from strength to strength and has achieved significant and sustained clinical care in its first 10 years. In this time, we have consistently been amongst the top three services in the UK, supporting 219 research projects, and performing approximately 100,000 procedures.

In 10 years we’ve made a difference to thousands of patients and families through a range of procedures: 68,000 diagnostic and interventional cardiology procedures, 16,000 cardiac surgeries, 14,000 lung surgeries, 104 heart transplants, 121 mechanical hearts implanted and 34 babies delivered to mums with challenges with their hearts and lungs. 

For 10 years our Cardiology team has had the UK’s fastest ‘door to balloon’ time for treating heart attacks caused by a blocked artery – currently just 19 minutes to save a life. Our team recently introduced a pioneering direct referral service for patients experiencing a Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) heart attack. We are currently the second highest volume centre for Coronary Intervention in the UK.

In 10 years, our lung specialists have gone from performing zero to 80% of lung procedures through minimally invasive keyhole surgery and have increased resection rates for lung cancer from 10% to 25% across the West of Scotland. Our pioneering nurse-led patient review clinic allows lung surgery patients to go home sooner.

For 10 years, our dedicated team delivered Scottish, UK and World ‘first’ treatments and services for Scottish patients.

There are too many to mention in one short blog post, highlight breakthroughs include:

  • World’s first treatment of a patient with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner.
  • First UK hospital to use revolutionary PCI Assist technology for high risk patients needing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for narrowed heart arteries.
  • First Scottish cardioMEMS implant to remotely monitor heart failure patients, allowing medications to be altered, reducing the need for hospitalisation and potentially saving lives.
  • First Scottish hospital to offer Patient Peer support to heart and lung patients.

For 10 years, our researchers have been at the cutting edge of delivering patient improvements from bench to bedside and:

  • Found that delayed stenting in patients having a heart attack caused by a blocked artery could reduce the likelihood of ‘no reflow’ and improve outcomes for patients.
  • Found evidence to suggest that preventative angioplasty following a heart attack has the potential to save the lives of thousands of patients every year.
  • Led the T-TIME study to assess a new treatment intended to restore blood flow to the small vessels in the heart.
  • Were one of only two hospitals participating in the UK’s first gene therapy trials for heart failure patients. 

Importantly the centre has gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years because of our staff.

Their unparalleled skills, expertise and dedication allow us to continue to deliver first class services making a difference to thousands of patients and families across Scotland every year.

I am very proud of everything the service has achieved so far and look forward to seeing how it evolves here at the Golden Jubilee over the next 10 years.


This month we also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS. One way GJF got involved was by representing NHSScotland in ITV’s Big NHS Singalong Live.

We all had such fun with this including our amazing Theatre Nurse Lily Hendry who features in the show after getting a surprise visit by former JLS singer and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Aston Merrygold.

Aston spent several hours at the Golden Jubilee at the end of June. As well as chatting and dancing with Lily for a pre-recorded segment of the show, he posed for selfies galore which delighted staff and patients.  

Through this experience I was reminded of my roots to becoming Chair here.  I trained as an occupational therapist back in the 80s when we still valued the power of the therapeutic effects of doing things with patients to help them with pain and trauma.  This is exactly what happened that day as Aston delighted patients and helped them have space from their pain through laughter, dancing and singing.  

A wonderful lesson for us all and one which I plan to talk about more with colleagues. Wouldn’t it be amazing for us to continue to have more times like that in our hospital bringing joy and smiles to everyone?

And if that wasn’t enough, we were chosen to be the only Scottish broadcast site for the live singalong show.

Our staff had a great night joining in the live broadcast fun. I had a fabulous time and got to meet more of you having fun.  That and attempting to set a world record for the most people singing the Beatles’ classic A Little Help From My Friends and raising money for NHS charities from sales of the accompanying single made for an altogether great evening.

You can watch our highlights film here and download the charity single here.

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