A NEW unit for outpatients who receive their medication through a drip has opened at Raigmore Hospital.
The Infusion Suite, based on the 7th floor of the hospital, will allow up to five patients including those with gastro, neurological and rheumatoid arthritis conditions, to undergo treatment at the same time with a team of dedicated staff providing care.
Previously patients visited one of hospital wards to receive their medication with staff only able to treat one patient at a time.
Confident the new unit will improve patient care, Dr John Harvie, NHS Highland consultant rheumatologist, said an experienced team of dedicated staff will look after patients.
"By having a dedicated unit in place the journey for our patients is more streamlined, they are getting undivided attention, the wait to begin treatment has reduced and we can now treat up to five patients at once when previously in the ward setting we could often only deal with one patient at a time," said Dr Harvie.
The unit will also be used for training for members of staff across NHS Highland.
Meanwhile, a development that was established in NHS Highland’s Coronary Care Unit in Raigmore two years ago has saved the lives of heart attack victims.
In February 2009 the Coronary Care Unit, led by clinical ward manager Charlie Bloe, set up a service so patients could receive a clot buster drug before they get to hospital.
An audit had showed that only one in four eligible patients received the life-saving drugs before they get to hospital.
Now three out every four patients receive the drug before their arrival.
Health experts say for every one minute delay in giving the drug a heart attack patient's life expectancy is reduced by 11 days. An half an hour delay can reduce a patient's life expectancy by a year.