NHS Scotland invest almost £20m in robotic-assisted surgery for bowel cancer patients
Wednesday 16 June 2021
NHS Scotland is investing £19.8 million in 10 surgical robots, which will result in less invasive procedures for cancer patients and boost hospital capacity across Scotland.
The Robotic-Assisted Surgery systems will be used primarily for bowel, urological and gynaecological operations. The systems have mechanical arms attached to cameras and surgical instruments, operated by a surgeon from a console within the theatre.
This new technology makes significantly smaller incisions than required for traditional surgery, reducing the risk of complications, shortening recovery times and allowing hospitals to treat more patients.
This investment will take the total number of surgical robots across the country to 13, and they will be based in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian, NHS Tayside, NHS Grampian, NHS Fife, NHS Golden Jubilee and NHS Highland.
Claire Donaghy, Head of External Affairs (devolved nations) at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “Surgery is the most widely-used treatment for bowel cancer, Scotland’s third most common cancer, and central to curing the disease. Patients often face open surgery, which can mean a long recovery time, but robotic-assisted surgery is less invasive and can reduce the time spent in hospital recovering by up to five days. We’re delighted the Scottish Government has invested in additional robotic-assisted surgical systems so more people across the country have access to this innovative technology.”
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, who saw one of the systems at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: “The remobilisation of the NHS is one of our most urgent priorities, and we will be publishing a national recovery plan for the NHS soon.
“This new technology will transform the experience of surgery for hundreds of patients every year, while easing the pressure on surgeons with shorter procedures that are less physically demanding to carry out. They will also reduce waiting times and provide us with regular data so we can continue to improve our health service.
“Thanks to the expertise of National Services Scotland, we have been able to ensure equal access to Health Boards across the country, making this technology available to as many people as possible.
“Crucially, these robotic systems will help to attract a broader pool of surgeons to work here, so we can build a stronger NHS Scotland for the future.”