Latest News

January 2011

Short stay elective surgical centre opens its doors

THE state-of-the-art surgical centre in St John’s Hospital has opened its doors for patients.

The £8.2m Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre is now treating patients from across Lothian for day case surgery.

It has been created within the existing hospital and replaces wards five, six and seven.

The wards have been merged to provide the specially designed facility, which aims to improve patient care and boost hospital efficiency.

It will provide a range of treatments, including tonsillectomies, gall bladder operations, nasal surgery, hand surgery and hernia repairs to patients from across Lothian.

Didi Welsh, project manager, said: "It is great to see that all of our hard work has paid off, and to see the new short stay surgical centre at St John’s open for patients.

"Creating a dedicated centre for day surgery at St John’s Hospital will allow us to offer specialised care to patients from across Lothian in one location."

As part of the overall project, the endoscopy unit, the flagship decontamination unit and the observation ward were all created to ensure St John’s continues to provide modern, safe, swift and effective healthcare.

Wards were refurbished, created and relocated and custom-built new office blocks were also built in the former residency.

Dr Patrick Armstrong, consultant anaesthetist, NHS Lothian, said: "Staff and patients are delighted with the state-of-the-art new centre which we have created, and we look forward to having many more patients from across Lothian coming through it’s doors.

"Opening the doors at the new Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre has been a great step forward and is the result of many years of hard work for the project team and staff at St John’s."

April 2010

Work begins on short stay elective surgical centre

Building work is underway to create the state-of-the-art surgical centre at St John’s Hospital.  

Construction workers moved into the hospital to begin building the Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre on Monday (12th April).

It means that the exciting project, which is to be completed by the end of the year, is now in the final phase. 

Wards five, six and seven will be merged in this most recent and final round of building work. 

The centre, which will treat patients from across Lothian, has been designed to improve patient care and boost hospital efficiency.

When finished it will provide a range of treatments, including tonsillectomies, gall bladder operations, nasal surgery, hand surgery and hernia repairs.

Didi Welsh, project manager, said: "This is a landmark day for the Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre and we are delighted that work is now getting underway.

"We worked hard to create a custom-built, state-of-the-art facility for patients and staff and it is exciting to see it start to take shape."

During the renovation works, wards one and two, which sit below the site, will be re-housed to keep disruption to a minimum.

Ward one will move into ward two as builders work above and then swap back, while ward two will move into a custom built ward in the former residency block for the duration of the works.

Renovation work on ward 19a, the former laser suite, is also now complete and has begun accepting patients as the new ear, nose and throat inpatient facility.

Work is ongoing in the decant ward for 30 patients, including 14 single bedrooms to boost bed numbers and re-house services while upgrading work is being carried out.

Ms Welsh added: "We have come a long way in the last two years and we are now in the final stages. We apologise for disruption and noise which will be kept to a minimum, but when finished the short stay elective surgical centre will make a real difference to patients, their families and staff."

As part of the overall project, the endoscopy unit, the flagship decontamination unit and the observation ward were all created to ensure St John’s continues to provide modern, safe, swift and effective healthcare.

Wards were refurbished, created and relocated and custom-built new office blocks were also built in the former residency.

December 2009

New unit opens at St John’s

Thousands of patients from all over Lothian have been treated in the new state-of-the-art endoscopy unit at St John’s Hospital.

 The pristine new facility opened its doors for the first time in July and since then more than 2,000 patients have been bowled over by the unit with its bright, airy spaces, easy access and cutting edge equipment.

 The dedicated endoscopy suite will treat twice as many patients as before and support the Lothian-wide bowel screening programme.

 It is part of the wider project to create the £8.2m Short Stay Elective Surgery Centre (SSESC), due to launch in 2010.

 The endoscopy unit formed phase one of the building work which will help St John’s to continue to provide modern, safe, swift and effective healthcare.

Didi Welsh, project manager of the SSESC, NHS Lothian, said: "All of the hard work has paid off and it is great to see patients benefiting from these new facilities which have been so carefully planned. Staff are also happy to work in such a pleasing environment, which is also one they helped create."

As part of the grand plan for the SSESC wards are being refurbished, created and relocated, new office accommodation is being built as well as the flagship Decontamination Unit and the new observation ward adjacent to accident and emergency opened last January.

Work is now complete on the flagship central decontamination unit, which sits adjacent to the endoscopy suite, for the re-processing of flexible endoscopes. 

The stunning new facility will be up a running in the new year and will treat all endoscopes used in St John’s – a total of around 12,000 each year.

Mrs Welsh added: "This new unit is truly amazing because a lot of work has gone into choosing exactly the right equipment.

"It is the now the most modern unit providing the highest standard of decontamination facilities in Scotland. Other areas nationally  are looking at this unit as an example of excellence".

Renovation work on ward 19, the former laser suite, is almost complete and will soon become the new ear, nose and throat inpatient facility.

The laser suite has also moved from its original location in ward 19 to OPD4 on the ground floor and is fully functional.

Some non-clinical staff, such as those working in e-health, employment relations and recruitment, who were working in clinical areas, have now moved out to provide a new ward and take up custom-built offices within the former residency buildings.

As a result work has now begun on a decant ward for 30 patients, including 14 single bedrooms to boost bed numbers and re-house services while upgrading work is being carried out.

December 2008

PLANS have been unveiled to build a revolutionary short-stay elective surgery centre at St John’s Hospital. NHS Lothian is investing £8.2m in St John’s to treat patients from all over Lothian in the proposed new unit, designed to reduce waiting times and boost operating theatre efficiency. 

Blueprint (click image to enlarge)

Short Stay Elective Surgery Centre PLan Drawings


Last Reviewed: 01/06/2011