Scotland politics

Director to oversee delayed Edinburgh children's hospital delivery

Design drawing of new hospital
Image caption Staff and patients were preparing to move into the new hospital in July when problems with its ventilation system were found

A new director has been appointed to oversee the opening of the new children's hospital in Edinburgh.

The £150m Royal Hospital for Children and Young People was due to open this summer but has been delayed until 2020 amid safety issues.

Final checks revealed parts of the building's ventilation system did not meet national standards.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said Mary Morgan would work with NHS Lothian on the facility's delivery.

Image caption Mary Morgan will report directly to the Scottish government

Ms Morgan will serve as senior programme director and will report directly to the Scottish government.

Jeane Freeman said: "Mary comes with a wealth of experience within NHS Scotland, leading on major change programmes, and will bring extensive expertise and knowledge to this role.

"The current situation is not one anyone would choose - but it is one I am determined to resolve."

The hospital was originally expected to open in 2017, but was initially delayed after two companies working on the site entered liquidation.

However, problems were then found with the building's drainage system, causing further delays.

Ms Freeman then called off the official 2019 opening in July after last-minute inspections uncovered safety concerns with the ventilation system in the critical care unit.

The latest delay is expected to come at an additional cost of £16m for improvement work, while NHS Lothian pay about £1.4m in monthly repayments to the private consortium which built the facility.

Ms Morgan said: "I recognise the importance and the challenge of the task ahead, whilst acknowledging the large amount of work that has been already undertaken.

"I am looking forward to working with colleagues in NHS Lothian in order to ensure that the new site for the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences is fully compliant and safe, ensuring the successful completion and move of services to the new premises."

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