NHS Lothian has received approval of the Outline Business Case (OBC) from the Scottish Government for the £48m first phase of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital development.
Phase one of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s redevelopment project could now begin by the end of the year. The projected timescale for completion of phase one is 2016, while the entire project may take up to ten years.
Phase one includes a state-of-the-art facility which would provide acute mental health care. The proposals also include an intensive psychiatric care unit (IPCU) and new Robert Fergusson national brain injury unit.
NHS Lothian Royal Edinburgh Hospital project board chair David Small described the approval as a very exciting step in the development of the project.
"The next step in the process is the development of the Full Business Case, which we anticipate submitting for Scottish Government approval in September this year," Small added.
"We have listened to what matters to people and are confident that the plans will deliver an excellent mental health facility that will open a new chapter in the hospital’s proud 200 year history."
Meanwhile works to prepare the REH campus site for the new facility will begin this week.
The work includes removing shrubbery, trees and other debris, the demolition of the recently vacated Scottish Ambulance Service building, as well as the development of a therapeutic garden activity area.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said he is pleased that plans for the mental health care facility have received outline business case approval.
"Plans for the new facility reflects the fact that mental health services should not exist in silos but be fully embedded into community care to deliver better outcomes and joined up care for patients," Neil added.
"The new campus, which is part of the Scottish Government’s £750m investment in health infrastructure across Scotland, will also see efficient use of energy, water and waste management to reduce costs and carbon emissions."
The revamp of the hospital site will be undertaken in partnership with Hub South East Scotland, which has appointed Morrison Construction as the preferred phase one contractor.
Hub South East Scotland CEO Paul McGirk said that formal approval of the business case is a positive milestone and the organisation is delighted with the progress being made on the project.
"We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with NHS Lothian to ensure that patients will benefit from modern, fit for purpose facilities and the community will benefit from investment in the local area," McGirk added.
Image: The Royal Edinburgh Hospital will be developed in several phases over the next ten years. Photo courtesy of NHS Lothian.