Moves to make the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank a dedicated ophthalmology centre for cataract procedures have taken a step forward.

The hospital’s expansion has been given the green light amid forecasts that the demand for cataract surgery will increase as the population gets older.

The Capital Investment Group at the Scottish Government has confirmed it has approved the outline business case for a dedicated ophthalmology unit at the hospital.

The national hospital has now been invited to progress to the next stage in the process and submit a Full Business Case (FBC) for the total project with revenue and capital costs.

Already undertaking about 18 per cent of all Scottish cataract procedures, the dedicated ophthalmology centre is scheduled to open in 2020.

The new unit will offer state-of-the-art care for patients needing cataract surgery which is one of NHS Scotland’s key patient demand areas.

Jill Young, chief executive of the Golden Jubilee Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to carry on with our expansion plans as the first step in the national Elective Centres Programme.

“With 96 per cent of our patients telling us they had a positive experience at the Golden Jubilee, we are proud that even more Scottish patients will be able to benefit from our NHS highly specialised teams.”

The Capital Investment Group has also approved that the Golden Jubilee phase two expansion, that includes additional orthopaedic surgery, general surgery and endoscopy, will move to outline business case stage.

It is anticipated that this second phase of expansion will be available to treat patients from 2021.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP said: “We are committed to investing at least £200 million to create a new network of elective diagnostic and treatment centres to ensure we meet the needs of a growing and increasingly elderly population across Scotland.

“This significant step forward will help us treat more patients than ever before.”