Easing the pressure

The new unit at St John's will specialise in knee, hip and cataract operations

The new unit at St John's will specialise in knee, hip and cataract operations

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Patients needing hip, knee and cataract operations could benefit from a new specialist treatment centre to be built at St John’s.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement during her keynote speech at the SNP conference in Aberdeen on Saturday.

Two new centres at the Livingston hospitals and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary will cost between £45 and 50 million and are designed to take pressure off emergency hospitals and increase bed capacity.

Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop said: “I am delighted that St John’s Hospital in Livingston will receive a share of this investment which will see an elective centre built in Livingston.

“The centre will specialise in acute care for procedures such as hips, knees and cataractsm and also alleviate the pressure from the emergency wards.

“This is a firm commitment from the First Minister to expand services at St John’s Hospital and as we in West Lothian have one of the fastest growing populations in Scotland, I know that this will be welcome news to my constituents.”

The centres will help cater for a huge projected increase in the need for these kinds of operations as the number of older people increases. They will be modelled on the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, which already specialises in planned operations.

A £200 million package will see similar units introduced in hospitals across Scotland.