Monklands Hospital development formally approved by NHS Lanarkshire

NHS LanarkshirePlans that could lead to a major new development to replace the existing Monklands Hospital moved a significant step closer last week.

The Board of NHS Lanarkshire has approved an Initial Agreement (IA) to rebuild the hospital or conduct a substantial refurbishment at the existing site.

The IA was developed after the Scottish Government welcomed the proposal from NHS Lanarkshire to embark on the process of seeking funding for the redevelopment of the hospital.

Colin Sloey, NHS Lanarkshire director of strategic planning & performance, said: “We are delighted that the board has formally approved the Initial Agreement. This document describes the proposals for this major investment to either build a brand new hospital or extensively refurbish the accommodation at Monklands Hospital.

“The current assumption is that the funding for this project will be a capital allocation to support a traditionally funded capital build. As such, the Initial Agreement will now be submitted to the Scottish Government Capital Investment Group for consideration in March. We would hope to be given the go-ahead to complete the business case at that point in time.”

The Initial Agreement is the first step in the business case process. It is a high-level strategic document which sets out the need for investment in the proposal and seeks to demonstrate that this is a good thing to do. It also sets out options as to how this could be achieved.

NHS Lanarkshire will now start to develop an outline business case followed by a full business case, both of which would in turn require Scottish Government approval.

Dr Rory Mackenzie, chief of medical services at Monklands Hospital, said: “Monklands Hospital was built in the 1970s and the accommodation places limitations on what can be achieved.

“Despite significant investment of £35m over the last six years, there are parts of the hospital that we will never be able to bring up to the standards required to deliver high-quality 21st Century healthcare. It is fantastic news for our patients and staff that we are moving ahead with plans for this development.”

The initial agreement sets out a shortlist of four options to be considered at outline business case stage; do minimum, full refurbishment of current hospital, new-build on current hospital site or new-build on another site.

Colin Lauder, interim project director for the Monklands Project, added: “No preferred option has been identified at this stage. Each of the four options is described in terms of their pros and cons which includes programme duration and potential costs. We will continue to work with stakeholders in the development of the outline business case into 2018.

“Stakeholders’ input will be an important element in the options appraisal process which, alongside the consideration of other criteria, will inform the preferred option. The whole business case process will take between two to three years to complete and this has to be finalised before any building work can start. The construction period for the new development will be dependent on the preferred option chosen. We hope this will be known before the end of 2017.”

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