EDINBURGH’S current Sick Kids Hospital is to be sold off for redevelopment, health bosses said today.
The prime site in the Sciennes area of the city, pictured right, close to the Meadows, could be expected to attract bids of more than £30 million, according to property experts.
Health Minister Alex Neil yesterday gave the official go-ahead for the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children to be built next to the Royal Infirmary at Little France. Tenders for the construction are due to go out soon, with work expected to start early next year and the new hospital scheduled to open in 2017.
NHS Lothian said it would put the Sciennes site up for sale once building work begins, meaning it could be on the market within months.
But Lothians Green MSP Alison Johnstone urged caution on the sell-off plans.
She said: “I’d urge the Scottish Government and NHS Lothian to think carefully about what happens to the existing site at Sciennes. Tempting as it might be to flog off this prime public asset to a private developer, the needs of the community must be considered.
“The neighbouring primary school is bursting at the seams and the community has no communal space or facility.”
NHS Lothian finance director Susan Goldsmith said: “We have plans to sell the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children buildings on the open market once construction of the new facility is under way.”
Under Scottish Government policy, money raised from the sale of NHS assets is returned to the central health budget rather than being reinvested locally.
The former Royal Infirmary site at Lauriston Place was sold in 2001 for around £35m and developed into the Quartermile complex.