Nicola Sturgeon asked to meet cross-party group of Lothian MSPs over Scottish Government refusal to fund new Edinburgh eye hospital

A cross-party group of Lothian MSPs is calling for a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon over the future of eyecare services in the region.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 4:45 pm
The Scottish Government is refusing to fund a replacement for the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion     Pic Greg Macvean
The Scottish Government is refusing to fund a replacement for the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion Pic Greg Macvean

They have written to the First Minister voicing their "deep concern" at the Scottish Government's decision not to fund a replacement for the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion.

And they asked to meet her to put forward the case for a new eye hospital for Lothian.

The letter is signed by all the Tory, Labour, Green and Lib Dems MSPs from the region.

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The government told NHS Lothian in December it would not fund a new eye hospital planned for a site next to the Royal Infirmary at Little France despite signing an initial agreement for the project in 2018. It has instead suggested services are spread across the region, including to a new elective care centre to be built in Livingston.

In the letter the MSPs say: “We write to you to express our deep concern at the Scottish Government's decision not to fund a replacement for the now 50-year-old Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh, something it had committed to previously.

“Last week's Member's Debate on this subject saw serious concerns expressed by MSPs from across the parties about the future of eye care provision in this area. The current Eye Pavilion is no longer fit for purpose but instead of supporting the replacement building which NHS Lothian wanted, the Scottish Government seems happy for services to be dispersed, risking the loss of a renowned centre of excellence. Service users in Lothian and charities are extremely alarmed about future provision being inferior to that currently available.

“We would like to request a meeting with you at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss our concerns and put forward the case for Lothian to have a new, dedicated eye hospital offering the world-class services currently available at the Eye Pavilion.”

It is signed by Lothian Tory MSPs Miles Briggs, Gordon Lindhurst and Jeremy Balfour; Edinburgh Central Tory MSP Ruth Davidson; Lothian Labour MSPs Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack; Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson; Lothian Green MSP Alison Johnstone; and Edinburgh Western Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton.

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