Monklands Hospital review recommends building on new site
Monklands Hospital will be rebuilt in a new location, after the health secretary accepted an independent report into NHS plans for the site.
NHS Lanarkshire acted properly in a controversial consultation into a hospital replacement, the report found.
The health board faced opposition over its plans to move the hospital from Airdrie to Gartcosh.
A review panel recommended that both Gartcosh and Glenmavis be re-evaluated as new locations for the hospital.
Responding to the report, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman instructed NHS Lanarkshire to discount rebuilding on the existing Monklands site because of concerns over cost, timescales and patient safety.
Ms Freeman said: "We're committed to delivering a new hospital for everyone living in the Monklands catchment area.
"The new Monklands hospital will retain an A&E department along with associated specialist services."
The health secretary also accepted recommendations on adding independent members to the project board and "developing a vision" for the existing site.
She called for "an appraisal process that is supported by the local community" to find the most appropriate site for a new hospital in the Monklands area, and for viable sites beyond Gartcosh and Glenmavis to be considered.
"I have also asked that the option of building on the existing site at Monklands be excluded from the re-evaluation because building a new hospital on an existing site takes longer, costs more and risks infection and other patient safety concerns," Ms Freeman said.
"It will also create performance and access issues directly affecting patients, during the long construction phase. There is therefore little point in including an option which will score poorly in the appraisal."
The Scottish government has the final say on the proposals for the new hospital.
The chairwoman of NHS Lanarkshire, Neena Mahal, said: "I welcome the report from the Independent Review Panel (IRP).
"I am committed to implementing the IRP's recommendations, in order to address the urgent need to replace University Hospital Monklands."
A panel of patients, staff and partners such as the Scottish Ambulance Service previously concluded that building a new hospital in Gartcosh was the best option.
The review was requested by Ms Freeman in November 2018 in response to concerns about NHS Lanarkshire's consultation process raised by members of the public and elected representatives.