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Green light for Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children

Plans have been approved for a new hospital in Edinburgh that will replace existing facilities.

Due to be completed in 2017, the project is part of the Non-Profit Distributing and hub initiative pipeline supported by the Scottish Futures Trust, expected to provide £750 million of investment in Scottish health facilities.

The hospital will replace the current children’s hospital at Sciennes, as well as the department of clinical neurosciences currently at the Western General Hospital.

The new building will also provide adolescent mental health services, which were previously based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Negotiations were completed in August, and following approval of the outline business case NHS Lothian will be selecting a private partner to design, build, finance and maintain the new facility.

A spokesperson for BAM Construct, who was previously allocated to the scheme, suggested the firm may be open to re-tendering, as the contract must go back to the market by OJEU rules.

“We’ll have to see what comes out, because the scheme itself may change”, he told CN, adding that with so much work in the pipeline “we’re going to be looking at all the options”.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said: “There have been delays with the new hospital in the past, due to land and commercial issues with an inherited PFI contract on the proposed site.

“I am pleased to say that there is now a framework in place to resolve the legal and commercial issues that arose in the original contract.

“I can confirm that another £1 billion will be invested [in health services] over the next two years. In 2013 alone we will invest nearly £500m.

“I’ve been clear in the past that investing in our infrastructure is vital to growing our economy and the NHS presents huge opportunities to do this.

“Not only will it bring benefits to business and more jobs, but it also means that patients can be treated in the best possible surroundings.”

NHS Lothian chair Dr Charles Winstanley said the project will re-provide services from the RHSC and DCN, and create a centre of excellence in the Little France area of Edinburgh, bringing paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and accident and emergency together.

“The proximity to the university and the BioQuarter will also improve opportunities for partnership working and bring research to the bedside,” he said.

“We are working closely with the Scottish Futures Trust to plan the procurement process and, as required, we expect to advertise the project in the Official Journal of the European Union before the end of the year.”

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