Glasgow to get ''gold standard'' children''s hospital at Southern

14 Mar 2006

Glasgow is set to get a 'gold-standard' £100 million children's hospital integrated with maternity facilities at the Southern General Hospital site, after the health board was given permission to go ahead with a final consultation.

Specialised adult, maternity and children's facilities to be located together on the same site by 2010-11- the first time ever in Glasgow.

This 'triple co-location' is designed to enable rapid access to specialist services of all kinds and therefore the highest quality and safety standards for mothers and children alike in the event of any complications.

Health Minister Andy Kerr's decision comes after an extensive appraisal of site options in which NHS Greater Glasgow was supported and advised by an expert clinical advisory group under Professor Andrew Calder, Scotland's leading obstetrician.

Mr Kerr said:

"Glasgow's NHS staff work wonders, but they and their patients have not always had immediate access to all the vital support services that modern medicine can provide. But with the building of a new Children's Hospital we can give patients and the staff who care for them the facilities they need and deserve.

"That's what made it vital that we explored all the options, not just for where we should site the new children's hospital, but also how it should fit in with adult and maternity facilities.

"Glasgow have done a massive amount of work over the last three years in scoping out the options and in explaining their implications to the public.

"And Professor Calder and his team deserve much praise for their efforts in providing independent expert advice on and scrutiny of the options exercise.

"This new hospital will provide the best not only for the children of Glasgow but the whole of Scotland. It will of course continue to provide the same life saving specialist treatments for very ill children and babies currently carried out at Yorkhill.

"The Southern General site offers us the gold standard option, which we have said we will back with specific investment of £100 million. This takes the total planned investment in Glasgow to £850 million for a rolling programme to develop first-rate modern hospitals by 2013.

"Now it is time for everyone to look forward and play their part in building the future. The next step is for Glasgow to get moving on a detailed plan, and on a public consultation on the transfer of children's acute services from the Yorkhill site to the Southern General, so that we can have this service in place by 2010/11."

Professor Andrew Calder, chair of the clinical Advisory Group, said:

"After detailed considerations of the main possible sites, our Group concluded that the Southern General site was the only practicable site for building the new children's hospital by 2010-11. It best achieved triple co-location, but more importantly it was the only site that offered the potential for integration.

"We urge NHS Greater Glasgow to embrace imaginative solutions and to maximise the opportunities for close integration of critical services for women and children in the redevelopment of the maternity hospital and the planning of the new children's and adult hospitals on the Southern General site.

"The co-location and integration of facilities at Southern General offers a golden opportunity to provide in Glasgow a new world-class women and children's hospital service, which builds on the Yorkhill experience and takes account of the latest clinical practice."

Professor Calder's report also concludes that interim arrangements need to be made as maternity services at the Queen Mother's Hospital are likely to become unsustainable at some point between 2007 and 2009 for clinical staffing reasons.

Mr Kerr said:

"Clinicians in Glasgow have always said that keeping three maternity units in full operation was unlikely to be possible for much longer. The present arrangements mean that skilled staff are spread over three sites. Changing patterns of working, reduced working hours, and new approaches to training doctors being introduced soon under Modernising Medical Careers all make their demands.

"Professor Calder's group has also set out recommendations for Glasgow to plan a move to two acute maternity hospitals, at Princess Royal Maternity Hospital and Southern General Hospital, at some point between 2007 and 2009. The precise timing is a matter for NHS Greater Glasgow. Clearly all of this needs careful planning so that safe, high quality services are maintained, and I will be expecting assurances from NHS Greater Glasgow on that point."

Elsewhere in Scotland, the Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital is co-located with maternity and adult services and this is seen as an excellent arrangement by staff working there.

The Calder Group was established with the following remit:

  • To advise NHS Greater Glasgow on maintaining the quality of care at the Queen Mother's Maternity Hospital until the new facility is commissioned
  • To work with NHS Greater Glasgow to identify the most appropriate site for the new children's hospital alongside adult and maternity services
  • To monitor NHS Greater Glasgow's processes for service planning, stakeholder engagement and involvement and public consultation for the co-location of paediatric, maternity and adult clinical services
  • To consider and take account of the existing work by the National Framework Review and by the Child Health Support Group
  • To submit reports to the Health Minister at key stages of the development of the project

From Scottish Executive