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Raigmore Hospital in Inverness now has a dedicated unit for urology patients to allow the expertise of an entire team to be based in one area

By Ian Duncan

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Raigmore Hospital has opened its first dedicated diagnostic unit for urology.

It will allow the expertise of an entire team to be based in one area – benefiting patients and staff.

The Highland Urology Centre, which will be in the hospital’s outpatient department, has clinic rooms for nurse specialists and medical staff allowing them to carry out consultations, measurement of urinary flow rate and minor procedures such as prostate biopsy and flexible cystoscopy – examination of bladder and urethra.

It is also hoped, once Covid-19 restrictions allow, to have more procedures available in the centre.

Sara Ramsey, a consultant urologist with NHS Highland, explained that with an ageing population we can see more common urological conditions such as problems passing water.

There is also an increased awareness of conditions including prostate, bladder or testicular cancer as well as more awareness that the urology service can help with problems patients may previously have been embarrassed to ask for help with, such as incontinence or erectile dysfunction.

Miss Ramsey said: “Being more flexible and having our expertise concentrated in one, physically distanced, area should help improve the service and allow cross over of our knowledge and expertise.

“Like any new service we need time to get used to this new way of working but by being more flexible we will be able to accommodate more patients for a comprehensive work up for their urology problems when we do see them.”

While remote consultations had helped, during the pandemic, sometimes face to face appointments were required. Miss Ramsey said: “We know travel is a huge issue for patients across the region. Hopefully the role of the diagnostic unit will mean that if patients do need to travel, we are more likely to be able to offer them a range of services at the same visit, reducing the need for them to have to come back for further appointments.”

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