Edinburgh's Eye Pavilion: Nicola Sturgeon urged to fund new eye hospital for the Capital as MSP launches petition

Miles Briggs outside the Princess Alexandra Eye PavilionMiles Briggs outside the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion
Miles Briggs outside the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion
A petition has been launched calling on Nicola Sturgeon to reverse the Scottish Government’s decision not to fund a a new eye hospital for Edinburgh.

NHS Lothian announced in December they had received a formal response from ministers withdrawing support from the project to build a replacement for the city’s Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion even though the government had approved an initial agreement in 2018 for it to be built next to the Royal Infirmary at Little France and a contractor had been appointed.

Instead ministers said services should be dispersed across the region, including to a new elective care centre to be built in Livingston. And they argued new technology and medical advances meant many aspects of eyecare could now be delivered by optometrists or virtual clinics closer to people’s homes.

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But the government’s stance provoked a public outcry and warnings that many patients with sight difficulties would find it impossible to travel to Livingston.

And Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem politicians have spoken out against the decision.

Now Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs, who staged a debate on the issue in the Scottish Parliament last week, is asking people to sign a petition urging the First Minister to fund a replacement hospital.

He said: “I have launched this campaign to show SNP ministers the significant public support for a new eye hospital in NHS Lothian.

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“The current Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion is over 50 years old and no longer fit for purpose, with numerous issues with the hospital, which has become extremely run down.

“There is strong cross-party support for a new eye hospital in Lothian. However at my recent debate at the Scottish Parliament SNP ministers were oblivious to how desperately we need a new hospital in Edinburgh.

“Edinburgh will become one of the few major cities in the United Kingdom not to have its own eye hospital, if plans go ahead to disperse services across the region.

“A new eye hospital will be crucial to get on top of growing eye treatment waiting times in NHS Lothian, as we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic and for decades to come.”

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