First Minister celebrates 25 years of Heart Transplantation at Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Damon Scott, CEO, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Meets First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon
Damon Scott, CEO, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Meets First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon celebrated 25 years of heart transplantation in Scotland joining recipients and their families at an event held at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

Damon Scott (CEO) and Philip Briscoe (Director), Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, were also in attendance to support the event.

Heart Transplantation is the final line of treatment and only cure for individuals whose life has been threatened or limited due to heart failure, which affects approximately 45,000 people across Scotland.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Scotland’s heart failure service. Since 1991 more than 350 transplants have been carried out, with over 80 of these procedures taking place since the creation of the Heart and Lung Centre at the Golden Jubilee in 2008.

Discussing the event First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:

“This event is to mark 25 years of Scotland’s NHS providing a life-changing procedure – both for the recipient and their families, and it’s been a pleasure to meet some of them today and during my time as First Minister and Health Secretary.

“It would not be possible without the dedicated service of the immensely skilled staff within our health service or those selfless donors who have shown such kindness in giving one of the greatest gifts a person can give, and they all deserve a huge thank you for the part they have played in these last 25 years.”

Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Jill Young said: “Each year we hold an event dedicated to bringing together patients and families who have been treated by the service, letting them share their experiences and see that they are not alone. This year, however, is a very special occasion for the NHS in Scotland: celebrating a landmark for this life-changing, life-saving, service which has given patients all across Scotland a second chance at life.”

Since 2008, in addition to carrying out more heart transplants than ever before, the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS) has developed a comprehensive, Scotland-wide, Ventricular Assist Device (VAD or mechanical hearts) programme to help more patients live longer and allow their bodies to recover to the stage they are suitable for a heart transplant. The team have also taken part in innovative research projects in attempts to find new ways to fight heart failure, most recently leading the way in pioneering Multi-Point Pacing devices for Cardiac Resyncronisation therapy. They were also the first hospital in Scotland to test Gene Therapy for heart failure.

The event brought together heart transplant patients from throughout the last 25 years, including our two patients who received their new hearts 24 years ago, to individuals just months into their recovery.

Jill added: “Today is a chance to look back, celebrate and remember but it is also an opportunity to look forward at new developments and possibilities for the future to help more patients than ever before not only survive heart failure, but go on to live healthy, active, normal lives for years to come.”

Damon Scott, Chief Executive, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "We should be very proud to have a world-leading service like this based in Dunbartonshire. We wish the Golden Jubilee National Hospital all the very best on this landmark anniversary and hope they will continue to save and change Scot's lives for the better for another 25 years."

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