The Scottish Health Secretary has confirmed Aberdeen will get a lifesaving trauma centre this year.
Shona Robison has told the Press and Journal that plans were well underway for a major trauma centre at the city’s Royal Infirmary by the end of the year.
Fears had been raised that the Granite City would miss out to the central belt after Ms Robison appeared to backtrack on her government’s commitment to deliver the centre.
Dozens of top doctors at NHS Grampian also voiced concern about basing the units in just Edinburgh and Glasgow, suggesting lives could be put at risk.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made an 11th hour intervention during the recent election campaign to deliver a personal pledge that the trauma centre would be built.
And Ms Robison has now confirmed the Granite City will be one of four sites used to set-up the lifesaving facility.
Lewis Macdonald, a Labour MSP for North East Scotland who championed the trauma centre, said he was “delighted” at the news.
While senior clinicians at the National Planning Forum are still considering the plans, it is understood Aberdeen will secure major trauma centre status by the end of this year.
Ms Robison said: “There will be four major trauma centres in Scotland – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“These centres will operate within a national trauma network that will work to improve outcomes for severely injured patients.
“The National Planning Forum is continuing its work to design and implement this trauma network and clinicians from across Scotland continue to be involved in this work.”
The news has been greeted with joy by activists campaigning to ensure the Scottish Government did not renege on its promise to build a major trauma centre in Aberdeen.
More than 3500 concerned residents have signed a petition demanding the facility – which could save up to 40 lives a year – be built in the city.
Last night, Mr Macdonald said: “I am absolutely delighted with this result.
“It demonstrates what can be done with people power applied at the right time and in the right way.”
The Tory’s North East MSP Ross Thomson added: “Far too often we have seen the SNP over-promise and under-deliver for this area. I will be ensuring that the cabinet secretary for health follows through on this pledge and that there is no slippage in terms of the timescale for delivery.
“International evidence has shown the importance of the regional model for providing fast and potentially lifesaving care for severely injured patients such as road accident victims.”