A senior programme director has been appointed to oversee the “safe delivery” of the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, which has been delayed amid safety issues.
The opening of the flagship new building was postponed just days before it was due to start treating patients after final checks revealed the critical care department’s ventilation system did not meet national standards.
The hospital is now not due to open until next year, with the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) moving to the new hospital site in spring 2020, and the rest of the children’s hospital migrating there in the autumn.
Mary Morgan has been appointed to work with NHS Lothian on the delivery of the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP), and will report directly to the Scottish Government.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I am pleased to have swiftly appointed Mary Morgan to the role of senior programme director. 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.
“Mary will work closely with both the Scottish Government and senior management at NHS Lothian and will oversee the safe delivery of the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
“Our overriding priority is that the children and families who depend on these hospital services can receive them in the safest way possible. The current situation is not one anyone would choose – but it is one I am determined to resolve.”
The delay is expected to come at an additional estimated cost of £16m as a result of work required on the site to address the issues raised, as well as continued operation and improvements.
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.”