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Revamped Hospital Plan gets Scottish Executive Green-light

OFFICIAL Scottish Executive approval has been granted for the development of Stranraer's brand-new hospital.

The Executive this week rubber-stamped the proposal by NHS Dumfries and Galloway to build a new hospital in the town.

News has also emerged that talks are ongoing which could see a helipad built at the site to enable rapid transfer of patients to other hospitals. An NHS spokesman said:

"The new facility, costing £9.7 million, will replace both of Stranraer's current hospitals, The Garrick and The Dalrymple and provide a modern, high-quality care environment for people living in Stranraer and surrounding communities."

The project replaces a previous proposal which included the upgrading of Dalrymple Hospital. Concerns about the structure of the Dalrymple emerged during detailed design work, prompting the new proposal for a complete new build which has now been approved.

John Ross, chairman of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said:

This really is excellent news and credit must be given to the project team who have worked extremely hard to develop the proposal in a short space of time.

"We can now look forward to a brand-new hospital which will be up and running in 2005."

Commenting on the news, Dr Gordon Baird, local GP and specialty team leader, Acute Services, said:

"The new facility will bring a whole range of health services under one roof which offers many benefits to patients and staff.

"The new build proposal has also provided the opportunity to extend palliative care facilities working in partnership with the Order of St John and Macmillan, as well as introducing a satellite renal service which will reduce the need for patients to travel to Dumfries."

Alison Burns, local health care co-operative manager, added:

"Discussions are also ongoing in conjunction with the Scottish Ambulance Service to secure funding for a helipad which would further enhance service delivery for people living in Stranraer and the surrounding area."

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