Sturgeon cuts turf for £43m facility

HEALTH secretary Nicola Sturgeon was today due to cut the turf as building work started on the new £43.6 million Royal Victoria Building at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

The new facility, which will care for elderly, rheumatology and dermatology patients, is the first of its kind in Scotland to consist of 100 per cent single rooms to promote privacy.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland's NHS has taken an exciting first step today towards providing all patients with their own single rooms. This is all about ensuring patients have a high quality environment during their stay, more privacy for themselves and their families and that we do everything we can to reduce the risk of infection. Importantly, by investing in patient care we are also investing in the economy, supporting the construction industry and sustaining jobs."

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The Royal Victoria Building will be constructed on the site of the former Paderewski Building and will include in-patient services as well as the medical day hospital. It is due for completion in 2012.

NHS Lothian chairman Dr Charles Winstanley said: "This ground-cutting ceremony marks an important milestone in the creation of this state-of-the-art facility."