First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with NHS Lothian staff and patients this week, as well as representatives from hub South East and Morrison Construction, during her visit to the newly opened East Lothian Community Hospital Out-Patients Department.
Staff took time out of their busy morning to share the countless benefits the recent move from the adjacent old Out-Patients department is having on the care they provide, after the new building was successfully handed earlier this month.
During her visit, Ms Sturgeon was given a guided tour around cardiology, dental, ophthalmology and x-ray outpatient services. This is the first stage of a £70 million programme of works that will see a modern and purpose-built hospital developed on the existing Roodlands site in Haddington. The full programme should be complete by early 2020.
The redevelopment of the hospital site is being undertaken by NHS Lothian in partnership with hub South East Scotland Ltd, with Morrison Construction appointed as the main contractor.
Paul McGirk, hub South East’s chief executive, said: “I was proud to be part of the team welcoming the First Minister. Hub South East helped drive plans for this redevelopment, so it’s fantastic to see patients and staff using the new facility and hearing first-hand the positive feedback they have.
“The East Lothian Community Hospital is our largest project to begin construction, and the biggest Hub deal signed to date in Scotland. It’s encouraging to see it progressing on time and on budget, and we look forward to successfully delivering future phases in partnership with NHS Lothian.”
Philip Galbraith, Morrison Construction project director, said: ”It was wonderful to see the First Minister tour this fantastic new healthcare facility, now benefitting patients. It is an important milestone for the project and the community.
”On site works are progressing well, with demolition of the former outpatient’s department underway and the steel frame being erected for the inpatient departments and hospital accommodation.
“Although the entire project is due to be completed in 2020 it is great to know construction so far has supported four trainees, 14 apprentices and created 20 new jobs.”
David Small, chief officer, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The opening of the new Out-Patients Department is an exciting time for the communities of East Lothian and we are delighted to be delivering a joined-up health and social care services through the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership.
“The new facilities will see an increase in gastroenterology, orthopaedics, urology, ear nose throat in East Lothian and is introducing new services like plastics and phototherapy. Having been shaped with the help of our patients, this project will allow our staff to continue to give safe, effective healthcare and rehabilitation.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Construction of the new £70m East Lothian Community Hospital will see a modern and purpose-built hospital developed, helping to improve the quality of care for people in East Lothian.
“We have invested over £2 billion in Scotland’s health infrastructure between 2013-14 and 2017-18. First class, 21st century facilities, such as these demonstrate the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to investing in public services.
“Our investment in these new facilities will help us to achieve our ambition of transforming the way health and social care services are delivered, keeping NHS Scotland at the forefront of delivering world-class care.”