WORK has begun on the Golden Jubilee Foundation’s new cataract unit in Clydebank.

Patients will start being treated in 2020 and the hospital will increase the numbers of patients receiving cataracts year on year, in line with projected demand across the west of Scotland.

And by 2035, the Golden Jubilee will be treating a minimum of 18,000 people a year in this speciality.

Jann Gardner, chief executive of the Golden Jubilee Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have started work on the first phase of our expansion plans with our dedicated cataract unit expected to be complete by summer 2020.

Read more: Golden Jubilee plans for next units revealed

“At a time where we need to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly elderly population, by combining our new facility with our evidenced improved patient experience, we will be able to provide sustainable services in this high demand speciality.

“This means even more patients will be treated faster, providing an improved quality of life for thousands of people every year.”

The new facility will harness the Golden Jubilee ophthalmic model of care which has already allowed the national hospital to, not only treat more patients, but provide an excellent quality of service and patient experience.

This model for cataract surgery has involved new ways of working, focusing on a team approach.

Optometrists see new outpatients in clinic and nurses have been up-skilled to take on additional responsibilities - freeing up consultants to spend more time in theatre.

Read more: NHS insists it’s sending all the patients it can to Golden Jubilee

Consultants are also now working across two theatres which allows them to increase the number of patients receiving surgery.

Jeane Freeman, health secretary, said: “The Golden Jubilee Foundation’s cataract unit forms part of one of the elective and diagnostic centres that are being established across Scotland.

“This network will allow people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery, taking pressure off the other parts of the system that deal with unplanned and emergency treatment.

“The Scottish Government is investing more than £850 million in our waiting times improvement plan, which includes an investment of more than £200 million in new elective centres.”