Plans for MRI unit at St John’s

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Plans have been submitted to build a new MRI unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

The proposal for a 190 sqm extension at the Howden West Road facility was submitted on behalf of NHS Lothian to West Lothian Council last month.

The site for the planned expansion is being used as a courtyard.

Opponents to a potential downgrading of St John’s had originally raised fears the facility would never get an MRI scanner.

The Evening News revealed last month that workloads of some staff at the hospital would be increased in a last-gasp bid to prevent an accident-and-emergency downgrade.

The addition is in the pipeline at a time when NHS Lothian is planning to introduce a new model, with services “streamlined” at St John’s.

The changes involve creating 12 new short-term training posts, which the health board hopes will prevent more A&E patients from needing to be sent to the stretched Edinburgh Royal Infirmary overnight.