SCOTLAND’S Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon today (2 February 2009) officially opened an NHSScotland shared centre for the NHS at Caledonia House in Cardonald, Glasgow.
Through partnership working between three NHSScotland boards, the building is now home to several health providing organisations including NHS 24, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Ms Sturgeon was today joined by representatives from each board and invited guests to officially open the building.
She said:” This is an excellent example of joined-up working across the public sector to deliver real cost savings for the NHS and, therefore, the taxpayer.
“Caledonia House is a modern, state-of-the-art facility bringing a range of specialists together under one roof, which I am confident will mean an enhanced service for patients and the wider public.
“I am particularly pleased to note that all three partners – the Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS 24 and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – believe this co-location has already helped them to respond more effectively to increased pressures this winter and I want to pay tribute to the excellent preparation and hard work of all staff.”
In partnership, NHS 24, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish Ambulance Service recognised that a localised co-located model of service delivery could offer greater opportunities for clinical staff to work together and ultimately this could improve the experience of the patient.
Today, 700 employees work at Caledonia House. It serves as the both the national headquarters and Glasgow contact centre for NHS 24. The building also houses NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde financial services and payroll services and the headquarters and control centre of NHSGG&C Out of Hours Service. The Scottish Ambulance Service West of Scotland Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre is also within the building.
This has given Out of Hours staff from all three organisations an excellent opportunity to understand the roles of colleagues from the wider unscheduled care team, which is already helping to enhance relationships and thus improve the patient journey.
NHS 24 Chairman Allan Watson said: “We are delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary to officially open Caledonia House today. The move to a shared facility is providing an excellent opportunity for better integration, particularly in Out of Hours care and this can only improve the patient experience in the longer term.
“For NHS 24, the alignment of our national headquarters with part of our operational team is enhancing the support we can provide for the delivery of patient focused services and it has given frontline and HQ staff the chance to work with each other. The move to Cardonald offers a modern working environment for our staff and has provided value for money for NHSScotland.“
Andrew Robertson, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “The move to Caledonia House has led to significant benefits for patients as well as our staff.
“Our Out of Hours service is the largest in Scotland and probably in the whole of Britain caring for over 1.25 million people. Working so closely together with NHS 24 and the Scottish Ambulance Service has meant that staff now better understand each other’s roles and responsibilities resulting in further improvements to patient care Out of Hours.
“This close partnership working has already led to tangible benefits as we are now in a better position to meet the current winter’s higher levels of demand on our services. We have also been able to centralise our Financial and Payroll Services bringing together finance staff who previously worked in five separate locations.”
William Brackenridge, Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board said: “The new facility has improved our ability to answer 999 calls and quickly dispatch the most appropriate response to patients. The 114 staff who undertake this important function now have a modern, fit for purpose working environment that has been designed around their specific needs. This, combined with the benefits of co-locating with other health services, adds up to a better service for our patients.”
During the official opening, the Cabinet Secretary was given a tour of the building and was able to witness first hand the frontline services in operation, as well as having the opportunity to meet with staff from across the three NHS boards.
• Caledonia House was built in 2000 and is owned by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. It was leased by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on behalf of Scottish Ministers for 15 years.
• There are 700 staff based within the building. This includes 256 NHS 24 employees, 205 staff in Greater Glasgow and Clyde finance services and 115 employees in their out of hours centre, and 114 Scottish Ambulance Service staff.
• The project to manage the occupation of Caledonia House for all three organisations was managed by a joint project board and sponsored by NHS 24.
• Building costs for the renovation work were £1.6m.
• NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s finance teams moved in February 2008
• NHS 24 headquarters relocated from Glasgow City Centre in May 2008, followed by the move of the Glasgow contact centre staff from their previous base at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank in June 2008.
• Glasgow’s Out of Hours service relocated from various centres in Greater Glasgow in June 2008.
• Scottish Ambulance Service moved its emergency dispatch centre from Paisley in September 2008.
For further information please contact:
NHS 24 External Communications on 0141 337 4506/04.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Press Office on 0141 201 4429.
Scottish Ambulance Service Media Manager John Morton on 07974 017937