Edinburgh's Eye Pavilion: virtual public meeting to give people a say

A cross-party group of Lothian MSPs has organised a virtual public meeting on the future of eyecare services amid calls for the Scottish Government to reverse its decision to scrap a proposed new eye hospital.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 7:00 am

Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson has teamed up with party colleague Sarah Boyack and Tory MSP Miles Briggs to host the event on Zoom.

Representatives from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and Sight Scotland are also expected to take part

Mr Johnson said: “This is a chance for campaigners and local people to share their outstanding concerns and put pressure on the Scottish Government.

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NHS Lothian wants to build a replacement for the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion Pic Greg Macvean

“NHS Lothian is looking at options for the Eye Pavilion but the preferred option has to be a full replacement of the facility, in order to maintain world class eye treatment in Edinburgh.”

Mr Briggs said many people who used the Eye Pavilion regularly were very concerned about future plans and the meeting was an opportunity to make their voice heard.

“From my own mailbag it's quite clear across Edinburgh and the east of Scotland people are really starting to understand the impact of not having a new eye hospital.

“There is a huge vacuum between the government and the health board about what is the future of services. It's important we put patients at the heart of that decision-making process.

“Obviously most people want to see a new hospital and this is an opportunity for us to get that campaign going forward and demonstrate that people who currently use that hospital need to see a replacement facility and do not want services scattered or disbanded. I think we will hear that level of concern at the meeting.”

Ms Boyack said it was crucial the centre of excellence built up at the Eye Pavilion was not lost.

"It’s absolutely clear NHS Lothian’s preference is a new development at Little France. I hope having listened to the worries of patients and clinicians and consulted with the organisations that support people with sight loss and politicians from across the parties the Scottish Government will think again and commit to fund the new facility we all think is vital.”

The meeting will be held through Zoom on Monday from 2pm – 3pm.

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