ALL emergency operations in the Tayside region will be carried out in Dundee, following recommendations approved by the health board.

A report into surgical services presented to NHS Tayside following a three-month public consultation said all unscheduled operations should be performed at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, where emergency surgeons will be on duty 24 hours a day.

The recommendations have been accepted by NHS Tayside, but must be signed off by Health Secretary Shona Robison before the plan can be implemented.

The move will put an end to emergency operations at Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI), where around one in five unscheduled surgeries currently take place.

The report, submitted to NHS Tayside, recommended that there should continue to be three surgical sites in the region - at the PRI, Ninewells and Strathcathro Hospital in Angus.

However, the PRI and Strathcathro would only conduct planned procedures.

The PRI will increase the number of elective surgeries carried out on site to become "a centre for excellence for elective surgery", such as cancer operations, while "fully using the critical care facilities on site".

There will also be an increase in the number of day case and minor elective surgery patients treated at Stracathro Hospital.

NHS Tayside said the changes "mean that all patients in Tayside can access the most appropriate facilities for their elective surgery".

The shake-up in how surgery is delivered across the region comes after the health board was no longer able to fully staff surgical departments at PRI, Ninewells Hospital and Stracathro Hospital due to a national shortage of surgical consultants and a lack of doctors in training.

Professor John Connell, chairman of NHS Tayside, said: “These proposals to transform surgical services across Tayside will provide a secure future for Perth Royal Infirmary and will improve the delivery of care for all patients across Tayside.”

Prof Connell added that 76 per cent of people who responded to the survey had supported the plans.

NHS Tayside Interim Medical Director and Consultant Vascular Surgeon Professor Peter Stonebridge, who co-led the public consultation, said: “Patient safety and high quality care are always our top priorities. This transformation of surgical services will create a sustainable service that allows us to deliver this level of care to our patients.

“The proposals are the stand alone choice for NHS Tayside as they provide the highest quality, person-centred, safe, effective and sustainable model for surgery that can be delivered with our available resources."