The stroke care department at Monklands Hospital has been awarded university status in recognition of its “life-changing research and service excellence”.
It was one of three NHS Lanarkshire services to be granted the honour by Glasgow Caledonian University, alongside the health board’s podiatry and psychological services departments.
Consultants at the hospital’s stroke unit have been working with leading researchers from the university on internationally-recognised work to improve the lives of people with stroke, particularly relating to their rehabilitation.
The link between the health board and the university is believed to be the first in the UK based around wider healthcare collaboration rather than only medical education, and means NHS Lanarkshire has access to the university’s world-leading scientists and their research.
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Staff from its podiatry service have been working closely with the university’s scientists on management of “at risk” foot disease in people with diabetes.
The service also provides practice placements, while foot and ankle surgeon Ros Miller has been made an honorary professor at Glasgow Caledonian.
NHS Lanarkshire’s psychological services provides supervised clinical placements for students.
Service director Dr Gary Tanner and colleagues Drs Maria Gascon, Jenny Ring and Emily Pathe regularly teach on the university’s programmes in counselling, health, and sport and exercise psychology, and NHS Lanarkshire consultants are helping to develop new doctoral courses.
Health board chair Neena Mahal said: “I’m immensely proud of the commitment and collaboration of our newly-named university departments of podiatry, psychological services, and stroke care at University Hospital Monklands – and congratulate everyone involved in this very well-deserved accolade.”
Chief executive Calum Campbell added: “Our partnership with the university has led the way in showing what can be achieved by taking a holistic approach to health education, research and development.
“Our three university departments are delivering excellence in clinical outcomes, education and research; I’m sure their success will help us attract the best talent to NHS Lanarkshire and other departments will follow suit in the future.”
NHS Lanarkshire has had “groundbreaking” partnerships with Glasgow Caledonian and the University of the West of Scotland in place since 2017, which saw University Hospital Monklands and the area’s other two acute hospitals being renamed to reflect their new status.
Glasgow Caledonian principal Professor Pamela Gillies said: “We’re privileged to present university status to three of NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical departments in recognition of their collaborative and innovative approach to vastly improving the health of individuals, communities and society.
“We work to develop the health practitioners of tomorrow, while carrying out research to provide solutions to the health challenges our societies face.”