Proposed Changes To NHS Surgical Services In Tayside


The proposed transformation of surgical services in Tayside is at present in the consultation stage. It is important for as many people as possible to put forward their views on this proposal.  An information stand will be in St Margarets Hospital in Auchterarder on Monday 25th September between 2pm and 5pm.  This will give information about the consultation and how to get involved.  Everyone is encouraged to take this opportunity to put forward their feedback regarding these proposals.

An outline of the proposals are below, for more information please see NHS Tayside website.

What are we proposing to change?

Our surgeons, doctors, nurses and other members of the clinical team are leading thisproposed change and they have already been discussing with other clinicians, managers, voluntary sector representatives, staff and NHS Tayside public partners how surgery can be transformed in Tayside.

There have been lots of conversations, events and meetings to look at a number of options and exploring what surgical services need to deliver in the future for the people of Tayside. A wide range of participants have been involved in reviewing the pros and cons of each option put forward by the clinical teams. The preferred option was then presented to the Board of NHS Tayside who agreed that the public should be consulted on the following proposal:

  • There will continue to be three surgical units across Tayside at Ninewells, Perth Royal Infirmary and Stracathro Hospital.
  • All unscheduled surgery should come to Ninewells Hospital 24 hours a day.
  • An increase in the number of elective surgery patients at Perth Royal Infirmary
  • An increase in the number of day case and minor elective surgery patients at Stracathro

You can find the details of all the other options which were considered in the full consultation document. 

What do the proposed changes mean for patients/you?

  • If you need unscheduled surgery you would go directly to Ninewells Hospital and will remain there until the end of your inpatient stay, no matter where in Tayside you live. This happens already at the weekend and for some types of unscheduled surgeries.
  • There will be no unscheduled surgical admissions in Perth Royal Infirmary. More elective surgery will be done at Perth Royal Infirmary which means fewer elective cases from Perth will travel to Ninewells Hospital and more patients from other areas in Tayside will travel to Perth Royal Infirmary.
  • You may have major elective surgery at Perth Royal Infirmary or Ninewells Hospital. A single specialist site for unscheduled surgery at Ninewells Hospital means there would be an increase in consultant, doctor and operating theatre availability, resulting in improvements to the standard and speed of care for patients.
  • There will be further development of day case and minor elective surgery at Stracathro Hospital and if you are fit and meet the necessary criteria you are likely to have minor procedures there.

What are the benefits for patients?

  • There will be an opportunity to increase consultant numbers and theatre availability by relocating unscheduled surgery on a single site, resulting in improved standards and speed of care.
  • All patients in Tayside can access the most appropriate unscheduled care facilities in a timely manner. The Royal College of Surgeons recommends as best practice that unscheduled general surgical patients need to have access to a specialist consultant doctor 24-hours-a-day, some types of specialist radiology and an emergency theatre 24-hours-a-day. The only way that this can be achieved for all patients in Tayside is to provide the unscheduled general surgical service in Ninewells.
  • Reduction in cancellations of planned operations for patients.
  • More Perth & Kinross elective patients being treated closer to home at Perth Royal Infirmary. The time it takes to get the right treatment will be quicker for patients in Perth and Kinross under the proposed change.
  • There will be an enhancement of critical and post-operative care in Perth Royal Infirmary to deal with an increase in major elective surgery.

What will not change?

  • The same surgeons and doctors will deliver the surgery and care.
  • The Emergency Departments at Perth Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital are unaffected.
  • There will be no change to trauma services.
  • There will be no change to specialist surgeries and children’s surgery.
  • There is no change to where outpatient or diagnostic appointments will take place
  • There will be no change to radiology services.


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