Construction work begins on short stay centre

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

Construction workers have moved into the hospital to begin building the Short Stay Elective Surgical Centre.

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.