At the Internal Medicine Department, we offer comprehensive internal medicine care to adult patients in our region, both at the Hospital and in Primary Care. We are a leading point of reference in both Catalonia and Spain in systemic autoimmune diseases. In addition, the Ageing and Chronic Patient Section covers Geriatrics and coordinates and collaborates with social-healthcare provision throughout the region.
The Internal Medicine Department is the cornerstone of medical care at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital. It is key in providing support to the other medical and surgical departments and the Accident and Emergency Department.
Systemic autoimmune diseases are the main specialty of the Department. We have more than 30 years’ experience in these illnesses and are a leading centre in both Catalonia and Spain as a whole. In terms of care, teaching and research our professionals are leaders in diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, dermatopolimyositis, systemic vasculitis, Sjögren's syndrome and Behçet's disease. We have a multidisciplinary team of professionals offering expert, personalised care for patients with these diseases, both in diagnosis and in treatment and subsequent follow-up at the Outpatient Clinic. We also offer support to the Obstetrics Department in the management of pregnancy for women with these diseases and with primary antiphospholipid syndrome.
The Vascular Risk Unit is a leading point of reference in the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and arteriosclerosis and their complications, and collaborates with all the other hospital departments involved in the management of these patients.
The Ageing and Chronic Patient Section is made up of the Geriatrics Unit of the General Hospital and the Orthopaedics Unit of the Hospital of Traumatology. This Section, in collaboration with the Primary Care Section, has recently inaugurated a new centre for chronic care (Chronicity Integral Support Team, or ESIC) that is located in the Casernes building in Sant Andreu, whose mission it is to bring the hospital expertise closer to the patients, thus avoiding unnecessary hospital trips and hospitalisation. This pioneering section is but the start of a whole network of such centres in the city of Barcelona and surrounding areas.
The Ageing Division coordinates and collaborates with centres for subacute patients and social-health centres in our region, in particular with the Pere Virgili Health Park.
The ultimate goal of our entire organisation is to ensure that the patient is at the heart of every action taken, to ensure continued care both in Primary Care and in our Hospital, as well as after the patient has been discharged.
The Departmental Research Unit, which is part of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), brings together basic research projects in immunology, systemic autoimmune diseases and ageing from the various Departmental teams, and participates in national and international clinical trials, and projects with public and private funding.
In terms of teaching, it is the mission of the Internal Medicine Department to help train doctors at the Vall d'Hebron Teaching Unit of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, to train residents in internal medicine and geriatrics and to train Postgraduate and continuing education students in systemic autoimmune diseases and in clinical gerontology.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.