St John's Hospital children's ward to reopen after two-year closure

St John's HospitalImage source, Eckstasy
Image caption,
The children's ward at St John's stopped taking new in-patients at night in 2017

Hospital bosses are preparing for an "important milestone" when a children's ward that has been shut for almost two years reopens to inpatients.

The ward at St John's Hospital in Livingston has not been able to provide round the clock care due to staffing pressures since July 2017.

But it will be open four nights a week from Monday, as a step towards it being fully reopened in October.

Children will be admitted as inpatients Monday to Thursday.

The ward will function as a short-stay assessment unit on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director at NHS Lothian, said: "This is a really important milestone for us and we are really pleased that we can reinstate the inpatient paediatric service.

"Parents don't have to do anything differently, they will still access care in the same way, if it is during the week or weekend.

"It does mean, however, that patients who would have been travelling through to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children for inpatient treatment will be able to stay in St John's Hospital during week nights."

The resumption of overnight services comes three months after NHS Lothian recruited three new trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), with the unit at St John's now staffed by a team of consultants, nurses and a greater number of ANPs.