Jeane Freeman visited the site of the new Golden Jubilee Eye Centre this week to see how the building is taking shape.

The development is the first phase of NHS Golden Jubilee’s expansion plans and will be open to patients in Summer 2020. With six theatres and an integrated outpatient department, the facility will have the capacity to carry out up to 21,000 cataract procedures per year.

The Health Secretary and MSP for for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley also heard about accelerated plans to significantly increase capacity in orthopaedic, general surgery and diagnostic endoscopy procedures. This expansion phase is due for completion at the end of 2021. It will create five additional laminar flow orthopaedic theatres, three endoscopy rooms, two general theatres, a surgical admission and discharge unit and a central sterilisation department.

Ms Freeman said: “The Golden Jubilee Eye Centre forms part of one of the elective and diagnostic centres that are being established across Scotland. This network will allow people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery, taking pressure off the other parts of the system that deal with unplanned and emergency treatment. This fantastic new facility will make a real difference to patients across Scotland when it opens next year.

“We have been clear that any patient waiting too long for treatment is unacceptable – and we have taken action to address this, including publishing our Waiting Times Improvement Plan. Backed by investment of £850 million, this will substantially and sustainably improve waiting times by Spring 2021.”

Jann Gardner, chief executive of NHS Golden Jubilee, said: “We were delighted to welcome Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to the Golden Jubilee Eye Centre construction site to show how the building is taking shape.

“At a time where we need to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly elderly population, by combining our new facility with our evidenced improved patient experience, we will be able to provide sustainable services in this high demand specialty. This means even more patients will be treated faster, providing an improved quality of life for thousands of people every year.”