The General Hospital works across all the medical specialisms and most of the surgical specialisms in adults. We are a level 3 hospital, which means that we specialise in severe, acute and critical patients and we handle clinical cases with the highest degree of severity and complexity.
We handle more than 1.2 million patients a year, many of whom also have the option to take part in clinical trials run by our research teams. This proximity between the labs and the hospitals gives us added value. The fluidity between research and care thus allows us to translate the knowledge from research and care into improving patient health.
Our fields of excellence are adult and paediatric organ and tissue transplants. We are pioneers in the creation of the role of transplant coordinator, who facilitates the transition and integration of paediatric patients to adults.
Another strong point of our care activity is our cancer care, which is based on clinical and basic research conducted on the hospital campus. We are the centre that handles most cancer cases in Catalonia, both in adults and children. We have highly specialised multidisciplinary teams and incorporate all preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects (including personalised therapy and the use of genome platforms).
The General Hospital also boasts the first haematology-specific day hospital in Spain. Opened in 2016, it is a 400-metres-squared space with advanced equipment that seeks to improve the quality of life of patients and save hospital admissions.
Located on the second floor of the General Hospital, the Stroke Unit incorporates pioneering equipment available to medical staff, such as a Doppler ultrasound unit, a cardiac echocardiography unit and a vascular neurosurgery room. In addition, it has non-invasive technology that assesses patient cerebral circulation and is controlled centrally.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the Cardiology Department, which runs the CSUR Unit for hereditary heart disease, so-called "family or congenital heart disease". Its advance heart surgery techniques, alongside translational research and multidisciplinary programmes, have given more positive results in this high prevalence disease: 250 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Nurses who work the night shift have to combine healthcare work and the need to administer treatments with the patients’ right to rest. This is the case for Daniel Cencerrado, contact person for patient and nurse safety on the tenth floor of the General Hospital. He has been at Vall d’Hebron for more than four years.So, how does he do it? By having a team in which each person has a job to do. Daniel says working at night has its drawbacks, such as having to have strict bedtime habits. But it also has its advantages. Although sometimes you wake up and you have no idea what day it is.
The Vall d’Hebron Digestive Endoscopy Department, now run by Dr. Joan Dot, who took over the role from Dr. Josep Ramon Armengol, who runs WIDER in Barcelona (World Institute for Digestive Endoscopy Research), cares for 70 patients a day with complex procedures and is one of the centres leading the colon cancer screening programme.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital never closes. A big part of the credit goes to staff in the Maintenance and Works Department. Eduardo Martínez is the night shift A manager and he is responsible for ensuring that the work does not stop when the sun goes down.
The Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Radiation Oncology Department treats 2,000 adult and paediatric patients a year. The Head of Department, Dr. Jordi Giralt, explains that the secret to why Vall d’Hebron continues to be a leading centre its multidisciplinary work.
The Citizen Care and Social Work Unit was born with the philosophy of actively collecting and responding to hospital patients’ suggestions and complaints. Vall d’Hebron was a pioneer in implementing this type of unit, promoted by then coordinator of the Citizen Care and Social Work Plan, Ana Bontempelli, and her successor, Marta Solé.
The work of nurses has in recent years been marked by computerisation. Although the essence of their job is the same, now they perform their work equipped with electronic tablets and computers. Montserrat Martínez, head of the hospital’s Knowledge and Evaluation Management Unit, analyses the changes.