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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
14 September 2022
NHS Scotland set for transformative collaboration

Doctor using digital medical futuristic interface 3D rendering/sdecoret

NHS Scotland set for transformative collaboration

A collaboration between NHS Scotland, universities and industry partners is set to transform the health of the population while expanding clinical research.  

NHS Golden Jubilee’s National Centre for Sustainable Delivery, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the University of Glasgow, AstraZeneca UK and Lenus Health have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  

The MOU intends to deliver NHS transformation by testing new patient pathways and digital technologies to enable earlier diagnosis and treatment, enabling large-scale trials and studies in Scotland, collecting evidence to assess the effectiveness of these new clinical management pathways, and scaling up successful pathways to spread across NHS Scotland.    

It is hoped that the partnership will improve patient outcomes, reduce waiting times, and change clinical practice. Initially, the focus will be on long-term conditions and priorities set by the Scottish Government.

The new collaboration between NHS Scotland, academia and industry partners aims to offer all patients with chronic illnesses enrolment in studies and trials of new pathways and therapies while creating opportunities to expand the Scottish economy.  

The first project being considered for rollout across NHS Scotland is the Optimised Pathway for Early Identification of Heart Failure in the Community (OPERA), a collaboration between AstraZeneca UK, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, University of Glasgow, Lenus Health and West of Scotland Innovation teams.  

OPERA was first trialled during the pandemic. Patients attended a single clinic appointment, undergoing a bank of tests including electrocardiogram heart tracing, echocardiogram ultrasound heart scan and blood-based biomarkers.  

During the trial, the waiting list for heart failure diagnostic tests was reduced from over 12 months to six weeks.  

Professor Jann Gardner, chief executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, said: “The national Centre for Sustainable Delivery at NHS Golden Jubilee has been set up specifically to renew and transform healthcare services across NHS Scotland and is uniquely positioned to deliver transformation programmes at scale through the Accelerated National Innovation Adoption pathway.  

“This collaboration provides opportunities to improve patient care, employ new technologies and medicines, while addressing the impact of health inequalities and social barriers to provide a more sustainable future healthcare system.”

Professor Julie Brittenden, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s director of research and innovation, said: “We are already seeing great success in our Covid recovery, with a growth in the number of transformative studies involving novel medicines, devices, digital enabled technologies and artificial intelligence.  

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