NHS Lanarkshire has been given the go-ahead to develop an outline business case to rebuild or refurbish Monklands Hospital.
The Health Board can move on to the next phase of planning following Scottish Government approval of the Initial Agreement to seek a capital allocation for the project.
Colin Sloey, NHS Lanarkshire Director of Strategic Planning and Performance, said: “We are delighted that the Scottish Government has formally approved the Initial Agreement and that we can begin the process of creating an outline business case.
“The development of the outline business case will be undertaken in the broader context of achieving the aims of the Health and Social Care Delivery Plan. In doing so, we recognise the need to work collaboratively with other health boards in the region to ensure the benefit is maximised for the whole of the population we serve.”
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Considerable investment has gone into Monklands Hospital in recent years and we have now asked NHS Lanarkshire to produce an outline business case that considers the needs of the population right across the West of Scotland and delivers excellent care and value for money.
“The level of potential investment involved in this programme is significant, so any final decision will be subject to future Scottish Government budgets and will be taken in the context of improving the quality of clinical service provision right across Scotland.”
As part of the OBC, work will take place to identify the preferred option from those set out in the Initial Agreement; do minimum, full refurbishment of current hospital, new-build on current hospital site or new-build on another site.
An option appraisal event, involving a wide range of stakeholders, will take place during 2018 to identify the preferred option for either refurbishment or rebuild.
Dr Jim Ruddy, clinical lead for the Monklands replacement/refurbishment project (MRRP) said: “While no preferred option has been identified at this stage, we have an exciting opportunity to enhance the hospital facilities for our patients and staff and take the level of care we can provide to a whole new level.”
The OBC will include an assessment of all delivery options, taking account of the population needs assessment of the West of Scotland and associated regional service planning.
The whole business case process will take between two to three years to complete and this has to be finalised before any building work can start.
The construction period for the new development will be dependent on the preferred option.
Colin Lauder, MRRP Interim Project Director, said: “There is still a long way to go but we will continue to work with our partner organisations, including North Lanarkshire Council and other health boards, as well as the people who will use and deliver the services in the development of the outline business case.
“The input from all stakeholders will be an important element in the options appraisal process which, alongside the consideration of other criteria, will inform the preferred option.”
Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “This is another big step forward in a vital project for the communities of North Lanarkshire and beyond. The council is fully committed to working in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire to realise these ambitious plans and we will continue to offer all support and practical help possible.”