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The National Service

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

The Department of Neurosurgery in Aberdeen Opens in a new window based in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI), Foresterhill Opens in a new window provides a full service in the field of Neurosurgery for both adults and children. This is the only regional centre in the northeast of Scotland. The Neurosurgical Unit has the largest geographic catchment area in the UK, serving a population of 800,000 from across Grampian Opens in a new window, Highland Opens in a new window, Orkney and Shetland.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Opens in a new window has a complement of 975 beds on the teaching hospital site with the Medical School of the University of Aberdeen. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is the principal adult acute hospital of the Grampian area.

Neurosurgical and Neurological services share a thirty-nine bedded ward (ward 40) including a high dependency area. The Neurosurgical Unit has 29 dedicated neurosurgery beds. Four of these beds are in a specialist neurosurgical High Dependency Unit (HDU) inside the ward 40. The ward is staffed by a multidisciplinary team with specialised experience and training in neurosurgical/neurological care. A full neuro-radiological service is provided, including CT, MRI, angiography and PET scanning.

The Neurosurgical Unit has access to a 12 bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where patients are managed under the joint care of Neurosurgeons and Intensivists.

Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology services and the Acute Stroke unit are located adjacent to the Neurosurgical Unit thus creating a comprehensive neurosciences unit. Close links exist with Rehabilitation service at Woodend hospital.

There are four Consultant Neurosurgeons in the Neurosurgical Unit. All four Consultant Neurosurgeons are deal with both adult and paediatric emergencies.

Paediatric Neurosurgery is carried out in appropriately equipped facilities in the Royal Aberdeen Children Hospital (RACH) Opens in a new window that joined to the adult ARI Hospital, Foresterhill. The RACH operating theatres are equipped for neurosurgery and are served by a team of specialist paediatric anaesthesia and theatre staff.

Information about services and advice on travel to hospital can be found on the NHS Grampian website Opens in a new window


Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

The neurosurgery unit in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee serves a population of about 700,000 people from Tayside and North East Fife.

Ward 23B is on the 6th floor of the South Block. This is the dedicated neurosurgery ward in the hospital and has 20 neurosurgery beds. Four of these beds are in a specialist neurosurgical High Dependency Unit inside the ward. Another two neurosurgery beds are also available in Ward 23A, the neurology ward. This is joined to Ward 23B and run by the same Senior Charge Nurse.

Neurosurgery patients needing intensive care go to the 7 bed general Intensive Care Unit in the hospital. Care is managed jointly managed by a Consultant Neurosurgeon and a Consultant Intensivist.

Four Consultant Neurosurgeons work in the Unit.

Neurosurgery out-patient clinics are held in the Ninewells Hospital Polyclinic, Area 3a on Level 7. Consultant led clinics run between Monday and Thursday every week.

Information about services and advice on travel to hospital can be found on the NHS Tayside website  open in a new window.


Edinburgh Western General Hospital

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

The Department of Clinical Neuroscience (DCN) in Western General Hospital, Edinburgh serves a population of 800,000 from Lothian, Fife, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and Forth Valley.

DCN has a total of 48 beds in the Unit. There are three wards in DCN: Ward 31 is on the first floor of DCN and has 18 beds. This ward looks after neurology patients, as well as neurosurgical patients; Ward 32 is on the second floor of DCN and has 15 beds; Ward 33 is on the third floor of DCN and has 16 neurosurgical beds and 7 High Dependency Unit beds.

DCN has access to a 10 bedded Critical Care Unit.

There are currently seven Consultant Neurosurgeons working in the DCN Unit, with two consultants about to be appointed.

Neurosurgery outpatient clinics are held in the Western General Hospital, Department of Clinical Neuroscience (DCN) Outpatient Department on the lower Ground Floor in DCN.

Click here for further information about the neuroscience service provided in Lothian Download Word file.

Information about service and advice on travel to hospital can be found on the NHS Lothian website Opens in a new window.


Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) is currently based in Sciennes Road in Edinburgh, EH9 1LF. A new hospital for children and young people and Department of Clinical Neuroscience (DCN) is to be built at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) and the hospital is due to become operational in the summer of 2017. See plans for new hospital here Opens in a new window.

The RHSC, provides a comprehensive range of dedicated children's services, including neurosurgery, caring for youngsters from across Lothian and beyond. The Emergency Department at RHSC typically manages children until they are 13 years of age. However, the inpatient facility manages young people into their teenage years.

NHS Lothian is responsible for meeting the health needs of more than 800,000 people living in Edinburgh, the Lothians and beyond.

The neurosciences ward is Ward 7. This is the only ward which looks after paediatric patients with neuro-medical and neurosurgical conditions. This is a 12 bedded mixed gender ward.

There are currently two Paediatric Consultant Neurosurgeons who work between the adult and paediatric neurosurgical units in NHS Lothian.


Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

The adult Neurosurgery Unit for Glasgow is based at the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in south Glasgow. The Institute of Neurological Sciences provides Neurosurgical, Neurological, Clinical Neurophysiology, Neuroradiology, Neuro-oncology and Neuropathology facilities for the West of Scotland. It serves a population of 2.7million.

The neurosurgical department comprises three wards (Wards 63, 64 and 65), with 66 beds and an ITU and HDU facility providing a critical care service for a further 12 patients. There are three dedicated neurosurgical theatres.

There is an outpatient clinic within the unit where consultant-led neurosurgery clinics are held on a daily basis. There are also clinics run by Extended Scope Physiotherapy Practitioners.

The Institute is equipped with two Magnetic Resonance Imaging Suites, SPECT Scanner, two Computerised Axial Tomography Scanners, and angiography facilities.

There are currently 14 neurosurgeons based in the unit and approximately 60% of the unit's workload is emergency care. The adult unit has close links with the new Royal Hospital for Children which opened in June 2015. The children's Neuroscience Units is once more co-located with the adult neuroscience service.

Information about services and advice on travel to hospital can be found on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Website Opens in a new window.


Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow

Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow

In June of 2015 the new Royal Hospital for Children opened as part of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on the site of the Southern General Hospital. This new purpose-built children's hospital replaces the hospital at Yorkhill. The paediatric Neuroscience Unit is now located on the same campus as the adult neurosurgical facility and benefits from shared facilities with the adult hospital.

The new children's hospital has 256 beds in including 24 paediatric critical care beds and looks after children and young people until their 16th birthday. It provides a comprehensive range of local, regional and national children's services. The paediatric Neuroscience Unit is within Ward 3, a 24 bedded ward comprising 20 single rooms and a four bedded bay. Children and their families have access to a range of facilities including family rooms, quiet rooms and a garden area.

Further information on the New Children's hospital can be viewed by accessing the following link: New Children's Hospital

Further information on the MSN's national audit of paediatric neurosurgery is available here


The Managed Service Network for Neurosurgery aims to work with the four neurosurgical centres to create a single service working collaboratively for the people of Scotland.

Find out more about the work of the MSN

Neurosurgery is described as a 'low volume specialty' - this means that there are fewer operations than those performed by orthopaedic surgeons for example. There are 35 consultant neurosurgeons in Scotland working closely with colleagues who deliver the neuroscience service; they are based in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow and each has specialist areas of interest. All four units look after patients who present as emergencies as well as those who are referred by their GP.

The units in Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow manage adults and children in adjacent hospitals, whereas in Edinburgh, children are looked after in a paediatric neuroscience ward within a dedicated children’s hospital situated in another part of the city from its adult counterpart. The children's hospital in Edinburgh will move to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh site at Little France, in the south of Edinburgh, in February 2018.

By 2018 all four neuroscience centres in Scotland will achieve co-location of the adult and paediatric neurosurgery services on a single site in each city. The opportunity to share resources will yield significant benefits to the national neurosurgical service and provide a modern, fit for purpose environment in which to care for our patients and their families.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

Scotland is offering a new surgical treatment for some children with cerebral palsy: Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). The surgery is offered in Glasgow and Edinburgh and it involves a prolonged and intensive rehabilitation programme after surgery. A very small number of children with cerebral palsy will benefit from this surgery as part of their tone management so referrals will be made by the child’s local team in the community.

For more information about this service please take a look at the newsletter and information leaflets below:

SDR Service Newsletter Issue 1 - Oct 2017 Download PDF file [477 Kb] , Information for Children Download PDF file [442 Kb], Information for families/carers considering SDR surgery Download PDF file [291 Kb] , Information for families/carers of children suitable for SDR surgery Download PDF file [233 Kb], Information for physiotherapists Download PDF file [936 Kb],

The SDR Pathway Download PDF file [895 Kb] and SDR Referral Form Download PDF file [203 Kb] are now available. Please send completed referral forms to the interim SDR Co-ordinator Ms Jacquie Bruce at

Information leaflets for children and families will be posted here shortly so please watch this space.

NHS Scotland

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