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University hospital status agreed for NHS Lanarkshire in landmark partnership

03 April 2017

A landmark partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and NHS Lanarkshire is set to bring major benefits for patients, students and academics.

The partnership will create three University hospitals at Monklands, Wishaw General and Hairmyres, and will see world-leading academics work alongside health staff to tackle key health challenges facing people in Lanarkshire.  

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Glasgow Caledonian University, said: "This development recognises our international reputation in applied health research, particularly within public health and the management of long-term health conditions. Local patients will benefit from care and intervention that is underpinned and enhanced by robust research, and I am delighted that we can deliver on our social mission as the University for the Common Good through this initiative.”

Calum Campbell, Chief Executive NHS Lanarkshire said: “First and foremost, it is fantastic news for patients. As our population grows older, with all the benefits and challenges this brings, we need new ways of working to best meet their needs. Partnering with Glasgow Caledonian University affirms our commitment to taking an innovative approach to improving our services so that we can address these challenges.”  

Initiatives already underway to benefit patients include measures to reduce waiting times and improved access to healthcare with NHS Lanarkshire patients being treated by GCU Physiotherapists at the University’s clinic.

In addition, GCU's Professor of Ageing and Health, Dawn Skelton, a specialist in exercise intervention to reduce falls and promote active ageing, is working alongside staff  to address one of the key health challenges facing its ageing population.

GCU’s School of Health and Life Sciences is in the top 20 universities in the UK for allied health research. Its research contribution in areas including healthy ageing, long-term health conditions such as stroke, MS and diabetes; HIV and sexual health; and substance use and misuse, is recognised as world leading and internationally excellent.

Dr Iain Wallace, Medical Director, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “While we already have a strong commitment to research and development in Lanarkshire, this partnership places these at the very heart of our work. Our vision is to put NHS Lanarkshire on the map as an academic centre where our health professionals have the opportunity to learn, develop, research, and teach as their career progresses.”  

NHS Lanarkshire’s Dr Eamonn Brankin, who has played a key role in establishing the partnership, said: “We are at the beginning of a journey that we hope will see ever closer working between NHS Lanarkshire and GCU. The partnership will also look at opportunities within mental health and primary care – and the fact that the School of Health and Life Sciences includes social work puts us in a great position to develop future initiatives with North and South Lanarkshire health and social care partnerships.”

It is expected that the data gathered by researchers in to areas such as falls, strokes, and diabetes will inform patient care and improve the healthcare in Lanarkshire.