Media Release: Ground-breaking ceremony at Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre

THE new Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre is a step nearer following a turf-cutting event today (14 November 2011) to mark the start of construction of the new building.

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, carried out the groundbreaking proceedings along with representatives from NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council, hub South East Scotland and community representatives.

The Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, a joint development between NHS Lothian and the City of Edinburgh Council, will include the Wester Hailes Medical Practice, a range of NHS Lothian community health services, local authority staff from the health and social care and children and families departments, together with the local voluntary organisation, the Wester Hailes Health Agency.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Having the right facilities, in the right place is important to people across Scotland and that is why I am determined to ensure both staff and patients the length and breadth of the country can work and be treated in the best possible surroundings.

“I am delighted to be here to mark the beginning of work on the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, just one example of many major health and social care projects underway across the country.

“The public purse is under huge financial strain, which is why we need creative, innovative and collaborative approaches such as the hub initiative to deliver maximum value for taxpayers money.”

Dr Charles Winstanley, chair, NHS Lothian, said: “This is an exciting occasion and I am delighted that work is about to get underway. A great deal of work has gone into reaching this point and it demonstrates our commitment to provide high quality healthcare services in local communities.”

Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Today marks an important step for people living in Wester Hailes as the new centre will create a one stop shop of health and social care services.

“Having all these facilities in one location can only be of benefit to everyone in the community and the new site will transform a derelict part of the neighbourhood.”

Dr Brendan Magee, GP with Wester Hailes Medical Practice, said:  “We appreciate all the effort that has helped the project to progress to this stage and we are now looking forward to the opportunities that the new Healthy Living Centre will bring”.

Jo Elliot, chair of hub South East Scotland Ltd, added: “We know that a lot of people have been working hard for a long time to bring this important community project to fruition and so we are especially delighted to have been able to help bring it to site through hub.

“We look forward to working closely with the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, the local community and all our hub partners to ensure the success of the project.”

Peter Reekie, director of finance and structures at the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), stated: “I am very pleased, both as a director of SFT which manages the Scotland-wide hub programme and a director of the South East hub public private partnership that today marks the start of construction on the fourth major community project since the South East hub was formed last August.

“It is fantastic to have worked collaboratively with the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian to deliver the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre.

“Today marks an important milestone in the evolution of delivering joined-up public services to local communities; is great news to many local businesses in the construction supply chain, and be a welcome boost to local people in this area of Edinburgh.

It is anticipated that the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre will be completed in 2013.


Notes to editors

  • Nicola Sturgeon carried out the turf-cutting accompanied by Dr Charles Winstanley, Chair, NHS Lothian, Councillor Paul Edie Health and Social Care Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council and Jo Elliot, Chairman Hub South East Scotland Ltd
  • The Wester Hailes project is being delivered by hub South East Scotland Ltd, a company formed between public sector bodies and private sector partners
  • The Wester Hailes Health Agency takes a community and personal development approach to health, which ranges from therapies to counselling, with a focus on mental health
  • The Scottish Futures Trust manages the delivery of the national hub programme on behalf of the Scottish Government
  • Following the turf-cutting, guests were invited to attend a brief presentation and view artist impressions of the planned Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre at the nearby Odeon Cinema.

Issued:  14 November 2011

Alexis Burnett                                          Noel Miller

Communications Manager                      Communications Officer

NHS Lothian                                            City of Edinburgh Council                 

0131 465 5647                                        0131 529 4400

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Contact: Alexis Burnett
Phone: 0131 465 5647
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