State-of-the-art SMART Centre to Celebrate Official Opening

The official opening of NHS Lothian's new state-of-the-art SMART Centre (South-east Mobility and Rehabilitation Technology Centre), took place on Monday 26 February.

The deputy health minister, Lewis Macdonald, unveiled a plaque to formally open the £7.5 million SMART Centre. Based at Astley Ainslie Hospital, the regional mobility and rehabilitation technology centre will provide mobility and rehabilitation services to patients across South East Scotland.

The new purpose-built SMART Centre will incorporate mobility services currently provided at the Astley Ainslie Hospital and rehabilitation engineering services from the Eastern General Hospital. The mobility service provides a wheelchair service, disabled living centre and driving assessment service. The rehabilitation engineering service offers prosthetic, bio-engineering and children's mobility service (Enabling Technology for Children) and adult and children's seating services.

Bob Anderson, Interim Chair, NHS Lothian said:

"It is fitting that the Astley Ainslie Hospital is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a specialist facility in providing patient mobility and rehabilitation services this year. The new SMART Centre demonstrates the continuing commitment to provide these services and acknowledges the expertise and quality of care provided within NHS Lothian."

Murray Duncanson, Chief Operating Officer, Primary Care Organisation, NHS Lothian said:

"It is exciting to see the building open and be able to provide both mobility and rehabilitation services under one roof. This is an excellent service for our patients and the integration of both services will enable more effective and efficient patient care, serving both the local and wider community."

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said:

"I am delighted to open this state-of-the-art facility and see patients across South East Scotland being put at the heart of an intergrated, flexible and multi-disciplinary service that makes their rehabilitation journey as smooth as possible."

The 4,000 m2 building has been partly constructed below ground level to blend in with the surrounding Blackford Hill landscape. The 106 metre long building incorporates a number of environmentally friendly features, including a zinc covered roof with a life expectancy of around 100 years. The roof is also 90 per cent recyclable. The main corridors of the Centre have rubber floors produced from recycled car tyres.

The services provided by the SMART Centre are available primarily to patients in Lothian, Fife and the Borders. The Driving Assessment service is a national service.

28/02/2007