Construction of a replacement for Belford Hospital in Lochaber is due to get underway in 2020/21, NHS Highland has confirmed.

Indicative funding for the new hospital was included within NHS Highland’s five year capital plan published in March 2017 and will be part of a wider redesign of health and social care services in Lochaber.

Work is underway to prepare an Initial Agreement which will set out the strategic case for the redesign including an outline of the services to be provided. The work is being overseen by a Steering Group which includes local clinical staff, members of the community and elected representatives.

Dr Brian Tregaskis clinical lead for the Belford Hospital and who sits on the steering group, said: “I am pleased that the work to progress the new hospital is underway.  We have excellent and committed staff who are constantly innovating to provide first class quality of care for local people and our many visitors.  Now what we need is a first class facility to match the care we provide

“We are exploring a range of options to provide care both in the hospital and in the community.  The future will see an increase in care provided at home and if people do need to come into hospital it will be for shorter lengths of time.

“There will be inpatient beds, 24/7 medical and nursing cover, A&E, operating theatre, surgery, outpatients, renal and maternity services.  What we are working on is the detail to support making decisions on, for instance, how many beds the hospital requires.”

Highland Council bought land in Fort William at Blar Mhor from Tesco for £2 million in October 2015 and made it available for a new hospital.

Working in collaboration with NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands EnterpriseWest Highland College UHI and the Scottish Government, the council acted in an enabling role in securing this strategic site for a new hospital and potentially a new science academy for the West Highland College.

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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