Edinburgh's Eye Pavilion: Humza Yousaf confirms progress being made towards new hospital but warns it will take time

New Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that progress is being made towards approval of plans for a new eye hospital for the Capital – but he warned it would take time.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:55 am

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In a written answer to a question from Edinburgh Pentlands SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald, he said: “The Scottish Government is committed to replacing the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion to ensure that future services are of a high quality and sustainable.”

He said the Scottish Government had accepted the review by external consultants which NHS Lothian had commissioned and had invited the health board to submit an outline business case for the new hospital.

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Design work on the new hospital was well advanced before the project was halted
Design work on the new hospital was well advanced before the project was halted

He continued: “This will be considered by Scottish Government’s NHS Capital Investment Group who will undertake a detailed review of the evidence provided. Once an OBC is approved the next stage is submission of the Full Business Case (FBC) and construction normally begins shortly after approval of a FBC.

“It is essential that the required due diligence is completed to ensure the best possible future services and facilities; and this will take time. We look forward to continuing to work with NHS Lothian to fully support them during this process.”

Lothian Labour MSP Sarah Boyack welcomed progress but warned there must be no delay.

She said: “NHS Lothian has already had to go back to the drawing board to re -submit plans for a new Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh so it’s vital that we don’t see a lengthy delay to the process.

“Lessons also need to be learned from the commissioning process failures we saw with the Sick Kids.

“The new eye hospital must be the world class centre of excellence we need with integrated emergency care, operations, research and direct links to the Royal Infirmary and the Sick Kids.”

Meanwhile, NHS Lothian interim chair Esther Roberton told a health board meeting it was “excellent news” that the government had accepted the review and had asked them to resubmit the business case.

Deputy chief executive Jim Crombie said the request had come from John Connaghan, chief operating officer of NHS Scotland, who had asked them to include elements of the review in the resubmitted business case and the elements the board would want to expand in the full business case process.

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