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£90m hospital improvements planned

An investment in the NHS of more than £90 million shows the Scottish Government's commitment to providing world-class care, Health Secretary Alex Neil said.

Two new projects aimed at improving health services have been given the green light.

The Scottish Government has approved the £75 million development of East Lothian Community Hospital, which will provide orthopaedic services, stroke rehabilitation, enhanced imaging facilities and a social care day unit.

Construction work on the site could begin next year, while it is hoped the new hospital could be up and running by the end of 2017.

A further £17.9 million is being invested at the existing Monklands General Hospital, which will see the creation of a new 10-bed intensive care unit and the refurbishment of seven operating theatres.

Work at Monklands is planned to start before the end of this year, and should be finished in 2018.

Mr Neil said: "Having the best health facilities and services, in the right place, is rightly important to patients and that is why I am delighted that these two projects have been given the green light.

"This considerable investment reflects the Scottish Government's commitment to ensure that every patient in Scotland has access to world-class care in innovative health facilities.

"By developing purpose-built community services and ensuring our hospitals have state-of-the-art facilities, we will ensure that all patients get the highest possible standards of care across all of our NHS services."

David Small, joint director of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "We are delighted that our initial plans for the new East Lothian Community Hospital have been approved by the Scottish Government.

"This is a major step forward in the overall process to build a new community hospital in East Lothian. The new building will bring an overall increase in capacity from what is currently available locally and some services provided outside of East Lothian are likely to move back to the county once it's completed."

Colin Sloey, the director of strategic planning and performance at NHS Lanarkshire, said: "Monklands Hospital is the subject of ongoing investment to ensure that all facilities in the hospital are able to support the ever increasing levels of demand for specialist acute clinical care and meet the highest standards of treatment and care now, and in future years."

Rhona Roberton, director of hospital services at Monklands, said: "The refurbishment and upgrade work will provide a facility which is fitted to the highest standards, improve the provision of ICU care and modernise healthcare delivery at Monklands Hospital."

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