Surgical analysis

Thank you, as it is through yourself that us workers often find out what is going on, in this case where we may or may not be delivering care to our young patients.

While walking through the corridor to theatre changing room, RHSC, Edinburgh at the end of last week to operate on the spine of a 15-year-old girl from Lanarkshire, I walked around a bucket collecting water coming through the ceiling. The words from the briefing, forced by your reporting, on the University of Edinburgh campus earlier in the week came back to me.

There are 11 financial institutions involved and only one has not signed to release the land (an “SA6”) required to progress to the new building. The release of land is the single hurdle in front of the project currently, they said. Despite asking, I was told this single remaining institution could not be named, but it is “adjusting their PFI portfolio”.

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This hurdle appears separate from the politics of the subsequent funding model for the new building.

There is much we should be thankful for delivering healthcare in Scotland, and having been a consultant in England this perspective is from some bitter experience.

If we want the best for all of our children, then the new RHSC, Edinburgh should be built. I and many of my colleagues work for Nationally Delivered parts of NHS Scotland, so this is not just about south-east Scotland. Whether in my clinic at Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow or Edinburgh, it remains my priority that all patients should be treated equally.

So with such thoughts of fairness, we should not bash all 11 financial institutions. Rather, we should thank the ten who can hopefully now come out and state their “commercially sensitive PFI portfolio” side is no more than equal to their proven commitment to join us in caring for our young Scottish patients.


Consultant Spinal Surgeon

Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children