Building and construction work on the new East Lothian Community Hospital is due to begin in early October.
The £70 million project was developed in collaboration between NHS Lothian and East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and has been in the works for almost a decade, with plans for the site just having been finalised.
The hospital marks a new chapter of development for health care in the area.
After the current buildings on the Roodlands Hospital site in Haddington have been demolished, the first phase of building will commence, with the construction of fit-for-purpose outpatients and combined endoscopy/surgery departments.
By its completion, the centre will house a range of services including orthopedic/rehabilitation beds; physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy departments; daycare units; a pharmacy and non-clinical space for support staff and offices.
Current patients at the Haddington site have been relocated to the nearby Crookston Care Home, Herdanflat Hospital and Liberton Hospital to allow for the project to commence.
In a press release, Shona Robinson, the Scottish Health Secretary, has called this an ‘exciting milestone’, and hopes that “the new hospital will be a significant addition to the local healthcare facilities available in East Lothian – bringing services back to the area and helping more patients get treatment closer to home”.
In the same release David Small, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s Chief Officer, also expressed his delight stating he was ‘thrilled’ that “services which are currently being delivered in ageing facilities at Roodlands and Herdmanflat can look forward to be transformed within the new building. It will mean closer and more joined up working between staff and services and will bring an improved experience for all out patients.”
In a statement, Richard Park, Operations Director at the construction firm Hub South Scotland Ltd, focused on the wider benefits of the development, saying: “We look forward to ensuring that the project not only creates a fantastic new healthcare facility for East Lothian, but that we deliver a range of community benefits for local people during the build, from apprenticeships to supporting local businesses.”
It is planned that the site – which will bring a 60 per cent rise to the number of inpatient beds in the area – will be open and fully operational by early 2020.
Image: Martin Hapl