Hairmyres Hospital sets up 'car park' operating theatre
A hospital is setting up a temporary operating theatre in its car park as part of an upgrade programme.
The facility at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, is expected to be active from January until the summer.
It has been erected while work, due to last 26 weeks, takes place to upgrade a theatre inside the hospital.
But the move, which is part of a long-standing renovation plan, has been criticised by Labour and the Lib Dems.
NHS Lanarkshire confirmed work was ongoing to finalise how the facility would function once operational.
Russell Coulthard, director of hospital services, said: "To allow us to carry out this work, and ensure there is no impact on patient services, it is essential that we have an alternative theatre.
"As such, we are commissioning a temporary theatre facility situated by the main hospital building.
"This is a fully functioning, modern, operating theatre which adheres to national infection prevention and control guidelines."
Mr Coulthard said similar temporary theatre units were currently in operation across the UK.
The health board could not provide details of what operations would be carried out in the temporary theatre or how patients would be taken to and from the building.
Labour's health spokeswoman Monica Lennon, who is also the local MSP, visited the site on Tuesday and tweeted: "The NHS in Scotland is being propped up by temporary buildings."
A Scottish government spokesman said: "This is exactly the right thing for the board to do. They have put the temporary operating theatre in place to allow an upgrade to the hospital, while minimising any disruptions to patients.
"The alternative would be to lose capacity for treating patients while the works took place - which is clearly not in the interests of patients."