First of Scotland's major trauma centres officially opens
The specialist unit, in Aberdeen, is set to treat the most seriously injured patients.
Scotland's first major trauma centre has been officially opened in Aberdeen.
The specialist unit will treat the most seriously injured patients.
It is the first of four major trauma centres due to open as part of Scotland's Trauma Network.
Similar units are due to open in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Two years ago, concerns were raised that lives could be at risk if the state-of-the-art trauma units were only based in the central belt.
Officially opening the Aberdeen facility, health secretary Jeane Freeman said: "This marks an important day in changing trauma care in Scotland for the better.
'The new centre will help our most severely injured patients and ensure patients have the best chance of a speedy recovery from their injuries.'Health secretary Jeane Freeman
"The new centre will help our most severely injured patients and ensure patients have the best chance of a speedy recovery from their injuries.
"On top of the £15.2m we have invested to make the network a reality, there will be a gradual increase in funding over five years with an anticipated budget of £27m by 2021/22."
Dr Iain MacLeod, consultant in intensive care medicine and unit clinical director for the MTC said: "This collaborative way of working draws all the professionals and components together across the north of Scotland.
"It's an exciting and innovative approach to trauma medicine which keeps our adult and paediatric trauma patients very much at the heart of each component of their healthcare journey."
Kate Burley, associate director of the Scottish Trauma Network, said: "The opening of this major trauma centre in Aberdeen, the first of four major trauma centres for Scotland, is an exciting milestone and highlights the ongoing work of the Scottish Trauma Network.
"The network has been working in collaboration with NHS Boards and the Scottish Ambulance Service to enhance the services for patients with life changing or life threatening injuries.
"For example, the introduction of a Trauma Desk within the Ambulance Control Centre to support paramedics and ensure trauma patients get the optimal care.
'The opening is an exciting milestone and highlights the ongoing work of the Scottish Trauma Network.'Kate Burley, associate director of the Scottish Trauma Network
"These new ways of working will help to ensure that no matter where anyone in Scotland experiences their trauma, they have the same excellent access to trauma care to support them and their families."
Anne-Marie Pitt, north of Scotland Trauma Network manager, said: "The Network approach to the management of patients who have suffered trauma is going to be especially important to Scotland's northern most trauma network where there are many remote and rural communities both on the mainland and the Islands.
"The network will enhance the effective coordination of person centred care from the many agencies spanning pre-hospital care, to the rehabilitation and recovery to expedite the individuals' return to independence and integration back into the community."
The Dundee unit is due to open next month.