First Min­is­ter pledges back­ing to se­cure good hos­pi­tal site

The Oban Times - - Sport -

TESCO’S aban­doned land in Fort Wil­liam could be­come the new Belford hos­pi­tal af­ter Scot­land’s First Min­is­ter pledged her sup­port in se­cur­ing a site, writes Emma Crich­ton.

Dur­ing a visit to the Oban Times on Mon­day, Ni­cola Stur­geon said the gov­ern­ment will make a de­ci­sion on fund­ing for a new hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing a busi­ness plan from NHS High­land.

The Blar Mor land be­came avail­able ear­lier this year when Tesco an­nounced it wouldn’t be build­ing a su­per­mar­ket there. The site would pro­vide easy ac­cess to both the town’s med­i­cal cen­tre and po­lice and am­bu­lance sta­tions, but plans to re­place the 50-year- old hos­pi­tal are not due to start for another four years at the ear­li­est.

When asked if fund­ing could be re­leased ear­lier, Ms Stur­geon said she would help make sure the ‘op­por­tu­nity of a good po­ten­tial site isn’t lost’.

She said: ‘The NHS is in the early stages of putting to­gether a busi­ness plan. For the gov­ern­ment to make de­ci­sions about fund­ing it we need to see the busi­ness plan first.

‘That will take its course, but at the mo­ment there is will­ing­ness on the part of the gov­ern­ment to see the Belford re­placed on a good site and in fit-for­pur­pose ac­com­mo­da­tion. I can’t give guar­an­tees and I can’t give timescales at the mo­ment, but we will be will­ing to work with the health board lo­cally to make sure the op­por­tu­nity of a good po­ten­tial site isn’t lost.’

For more on the First Min­is­ter’s visit to Oban, see pages four and five.

PLEDGE: Ni­cola Stur­geon wants to see Belford hos­pi­tal re­placed ‘on a good site and in fit-for­pur­pose ac­com­mo­da­tion’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.