Media Release: New facility for older people given ‘green light’

PLANS to re-provide medical services for the elderly currently provided at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh have been given the go-ahead.

NHS Lothian has announced the approval of the outline business case, subject to obtaining local authority planning consent. This is a key stage in the development process set out by the Scottish Government.

The proposals are for medical services for patients over 65 years of age to be re-provided in a new facility to be built on the Western General Hospital site which is adjacent to the current hospital. These services will include medical in-patient and out-patient services and the medical day hospital The new facility will include a high percentage of single rooms for patients.

Dr Charles Winstanley, chair, NHS Lothian said: “I am absolutely delighted that our plans to provide this brand new facility are moving forward. The new facility will provide healthcare services for older people, allowing better and easy access to wider medical services on the Western General Hospital site. It is great news for people in north Edinburgh and the community.”

Violet Laidlaw, Patient Focus Public Involvement group representative and member of the Older People’s Equality Forum, said: “I’m really glad that the hospital is moving to new premises and I know being an older person myself that it will be reassuring knowing that the services will be provided in an appropriate, modern setting.

“I know there is a sentimental attachment to the existing hospital but new facilities are needed, such as single room accommodation which is much more suitable as you get older. I think it is a real plus point that there has been so much public involvement and that the views of people like myself have been taken on board. This has been important in developing the new building.”

Iain Whyte, NHS Lothian, non-executive board member, said: “The new building will be a fantastic facility for local, older people who need hospital care, giving them better facilities and combining these on the Western General site will give much better access to the diagnostic services there when they are needed.

“I know that the local community will also support the further strengthening of services at the Western General and the fact that these services will remain in the local area. The care provided at the Royal Victoria is highly valued and the short move up to Crewe Road South will ensure that the staff involved and the caring culture they bring are retained with the move.”

Cllr Paul Edie, spokesperson for Health and Social Care for the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian non-executive board member, said: “The plans for the new building are very welcome. It is important that we all work together to improve services for older people and a new modern building will undoubtedly help these improvements progress. I look forward to seeing designs and I have no doubt they will result in an excellent facility which will provide specialist care for older people.”

The next stage is to obtain outline planning permission before we can progress to Full Business Case, which will include patients, carers and staff being involved in the potential design of the building

The project is expected to be completed in 2012.


Notes to editors

The Medicine for the Elderly services will be built on the site currently occupied by the Paderewski Building on the Western General Hospital site.

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Contact: Alexis Burnett
Phone: 0131 536 9432