£8.2 million to be invested in St John’s Hospital

Plans have been unveiled to build a revolutionary £8.2 million short stay elective surgery centre at St John’s Hospital.

NHS Lothian will treat patients from all over Lothian in the proposed new unit, designed to reduce waiting times and cancellations and boost operating theatre efficiency.

The move underlines NHS Lothian’s commitment to St John’s as one of the three essential acute hospitals in NHS Lothian and reinforces its dedication to improving patient care.

Simon MacKenzie, associate medical director of NHS Lothian, said:

“This new centre will confirm St John’s as one of our three essential acute hospitals and will play a key role in reducing waiting times to ensure patients receive the best care possible.”
An extra 3,000 day patients will either be prepared for surgery or undergo day case operations in any of the specialties housed at St John’s, such as head and neck, plastic surgery, burns and children’s medicine.
Patients, due to undergo surgery at the Western General Hospital or the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, will be offered pre-assessment at St John’s to ensure they are clinically fit.
Surgical patients will be also welcomed into the unit on the day of their operation, while an overnight stay facility is available longer care is required.
The surgical centre proposals were outlined and supported at a meeting of the West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership on Tuesday.
Theresa Douglas, chair of the CHCP, said: “We are delighted with this new investment which is great news not only for St John’s, but for patients in West Lothian and the rest of Lothian.”
The new unit, which has the support of the hospital medical staff will be completed by May 2010 and is the second phase of development at St John’s.
The first stage began with the new creation of the Endoscopy Suite, due to open in April 2009 to double the capacity of the current unit at St John’s and support the planned diagnostic screening for bowel cancer.