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Health Matters By Helen Robertson: New building and recruitment means this is exciting time in Inverness


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Progress is being made on the new NHS building at Inverness Campus.
Progress is being made on the new NHS building at Inverness Campus.

I have been working with the National Treatment Centre Programme for the past 18 months as workforce development lead and was recently appointed as the National Treatment Centre manager within NHS Highland.

I am a chartered physiotherapist by trade with wide-ranging experience across general practices, outpatient and sports settings and within orthopaedic clinics before moving on to manage the trauma and orthopaedic service at Raigmore Hospital.

I am passionate about patient care and service development and I’m delighted to be involved in taking forward this very exciting project for NHS Highland.

The National Treatment Centre – Highland (NTC-H), based in Inverness, is one of 10 centres being created across NHS Scotland to help reduce the length of time patients are waiting for procedures. The NTC-H will be one of the first to open and will benefit patients requiring orthopaedic and eye care services by reducing the time they will need to wait for their treatment. The centre is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2022.

The NTC-H is being built on the Inverness Campus just across the A9 from Raigmore Hospital. It will include five operating theatres; a 24-bed ward and transfer of the entire eye care outpatient service currently based within Raigmore.

Two theatres will be used for a large number of low risk hip and knee replacement surgery, two will support ophthalmology surgery and the remaining theatre will be used between both services.

The eye care outpatient area has been designed to support patient care with a seamless patient pathway through the building providing a welcoming and pleasant environment for our patients and staff.

Our vision for the NTC-H is to deliver the best quality state-of-the-art, innovative ophthalmology and orthopaedic healthcare to the people of the north of Scotland. We have already started work within NHS Highland to transform key ophthalmology and orthopaedic patient pathways to help achieve this vision.

Alongside this, we want to develop staff, allowing them to maximise their potential and deliver high-quality, compassionate patient care by focusing on values and behaviours; leadership and culture; learning and innovation; team and inter-team working; goals and performance. With this we hope to attract and retain staff who are committed to achieving service excellence and reaffirm the message that Highland is a great place to work.

Recruitment for the NTC-H has already started and this will gain momentum as we move closer to an opening date. Over the coming months we will be recruiting staff from a number of backgrounds including qualified nursing; allied health professionals; medical; healthcare support; housekeeping and portering; decontamination and administrative roles.

We will be offering training and development opportunities for people who may have recently retired from healthcare roles, are thinking of a career change or would like to develop a career in health, and for people who may be looking to work more flexibly to achieve a good work-life balance.

With the new building taking shape and some of our posts already being recruited to, this is an exciting time for the project and for NHS Highland.

If you share our vision for the future, are passionate about patient care, and would like more detail of upcoming vacancies we would love to hear from you.

• Helen Robertson is the national treatment centre manager at NHS Highland.


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