NHS Lothian has approved capital funding for an ambitious programme to expand and transform the Emergency Department (ED) at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.
NHS Lothian and the West Lothian Integration Joint Board (IJB) developed the proposition together to upgrade facilities, redesign existing space, and expand the footprint of the busy department, which receives between 150-200 patients a day.
The plans represent a major capital investment of £3.96m in St John’s emergency care services and will enable staff to manage rising demand, see patients more swiftly, and deal with the current and expected increase in serious and complex cases.
More assessment space and treatment bays, a better waiting area, and a dedicated minor injuries unit are just some of the improvements included in the plan.
These purpose-built facilities will create an excellent environment for patients and ensure they have fast access to the most-appropriate care
Commenting on the need for expansion, NHS Lothian chief executive, Tim Davison, said: “Population growth in West Lothian is significant as it is an attractive place to live and work. Add to this the fact that people are living longer, and it is not difficult to understand why we are seeing more people than ever attend the emergency department.
“It is vital that our services keep pace with that rising demand and are fit for the future.
“This development is a really-positive example of collaborative working between NHS Lothian and West Lothian IJB, which is now the strategic planning body for unscheduled care across the hospital, primary, community and social care system.
“These purpose-built facilities will create an excellent environment for patients and ensure they have fast access to the most-appropriate care. Redesign will also create a dynamic workplace for staff that offers more opportunities for professional development and training.
This significant investment is part of NHS Lothian’s commitment to improving emergency and urgent care services across Lothian.
Earlier this year a new dedicated minor injuries unit opened its doors at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where there is also a plan for longer-term expansion.
The work at St John’s gets underway next week and is due to be completed in the autumn.