Greater Glasgow NHS Board

Dalian House

350 St Vincent Street


G3 8YZ

0141 201 4444




Media Statement


                                                                                  25 October 2002


NHS Greater Glasgow Releases Accessibility Study


NHS Greater Glasgow today forwarded copies of a detailed transport accessibility study into Glasgow’s acute hospitals to the Minister for Health and Community Care.


The study was commissioned in 2001 as part of the groundwork in developing the £700 million Acute Hospital Services Strategy for Greater Glasgow.  Work on the study continued until April 2002, at which time extracts linked specifically to the Southside of Glasgow were published.


The study was designed to reveal the scale and scope of the impact of changes to acute hospital services in terms of public and private transport access for patients.  It revealed that no matter how hospitals in Glasgow might change, that there would inevitably be benefits to some residents and disadvantages to others as current transport arrangements stand.  It shows that none of the options considered by the Board between 2001 and July 2002 greatly extended travel time for the majority of patients.  Board Members accepted that, given the clear clinical and patient benefits from reconfiguring acute care around the 3 in-patient and 2 ambulatory care hospitals, the study confirmed that this option maintained the bulk of local services in current locations whilst allowing concentration of those services where there was clear clinical need.  It was therefore, without question, the best overall option for patients and NHS staff.


The study was only intended as working document and as a first stage in a long process to accompany the implementation of change to Glasgow’s hospitals.  The NHS Board previously committed itself to working with public transport providers to ensure that there is the best possible match of services to the future pattern of hospitals.  This study will now form the basis of further analysis of travel modes and detailed discussions with Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive and the Scottish Ambulance Service/Patient Transport Service.


Commenting on the release of the study, Tom Divers, Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow NHS Board, said:


Some people have misunderstood what we are doing with this study—it is the beginning of a process, not the end of one.  The study was not designed to prove that one site is worse than another because fewer buses run to it, what it does is provide us with is an opening gambit to take to the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive to show where we think there are problems that need to be sorted in the coming years. 


“I know that there may be some concern that some current transport routes may not be compatible with the changes to hospital services, but we have adopted an acute services strategy that will minimise the number of patients travelling to different locations across the city.  In any case, transport arrangements are not fixed and we intend to work with our partners to ensure they develop as the different elements of our strategy are delivered in the next 10 years.”







1.      On 12 August 2002, the Minister for Health and Community Care approved NHS Greater Glasgow’s strategy to reconfigure acute hospital services.  The strategy is based on:


·        £700 million investment over 10 years

·        Adult acute care delivered from 5 Glasgow locations

·        3 modernised inpatient centers at Gartnavel, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Southern General Hospital

·        2 new-build £60 million ambulatory care hospital at the Victoria Infirmary and Stobhill Hospital

·        A & E services reorganised around 2 specialised A & E/trauma units, 3 emergency receiving centres and 5 minor injuries units as well as a centralised children’s A & E at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children


The strategy was adopted because it combined continued local access for the bulk of services – more than 85% of the patients at the Victoria Infirmary and Stobhill Hospital will never have to travel anywhere other than the new ambulatory care hospitals – whilst allowing consolidation and modernisation of specialty services where there was clear clinical and patient need.


2.      The accessibility study was produced by the professional transport consultants FaberMaunsell


3.      The original document was very technical and nature and had to be edited by its authors to make it ready for public release


4.      The Minister for Health and Community Care requested that NHS Greater Glasgow have the more ‘user friendly’ version of the report ready for general release by today, 25 October


5.      Copies of the report have also been sent today to all Greater Glasgow MSPs, the Health Service Forum South East and other parties who have expressed an interest


6.      Copies of the report in full, and an Executive Summary, are available to download from the Greater Glasgow NHS Board website:


7.      Some of the key outcomes of the study were:


·        99.9% of patients currently experience mean journey times to acute hospitals of under 30 minutes.  None of the options considered by the NHS Board would have appreciably increased the percentage of patients experiencing mean journey times greater than 30 minutes


·        99.3% of visitors to inpatients experience mean journey times of less than 45 minutes.  None of the options considered by the NHS Board would have appreciably increased the percentage experience mean journey time greater than this


·        99.8% of staff experience mean journey times to work of less than 45 minutes.  None of the options considered by the NHS Board would have appreciably changed this percentage


·        At present 97% of Greater Glasgow’s population would experience a morning peak period ‘blue light’ ambulance journey to hospital of under 20 minutes.  None of the options considered by the NHS Board appreciably impacted upon this


·        Improvements are required in Glasgow’s hospitals in respect of private car access and parking