Plans to replace a Lanarkshire hospital are progressing at pace after the local NHS body submitted a planning application.
The plans to replace University Hospital Monklands follow approval from the Scottish Government of the outline business case to build a new hospital in Airdrie.
Colin Lauder, NHS Lanarkshire director of planning, property and performance, said: “We are delighted to submit a planning application for this hugely significant capital project. The new hospital will have massive benefits for healthcare, the economy and local community across Lanarkshire and Scotland.
“This is another important milestone for what will be Scotland’s first fully digital and net zero carbon hospital. The Monklands Replacement Project (MRP) provides an enormous opportunity for Lanarkshire in terms of innovative healthcare delivery, employment as well as broader community benefits.”
Plans for the hospital have been developed by a team with experience and expertise in delivering “first-class” healthcare projects.
Together, the MRP team has undertaken “extensive” engagement with the public, staff and partner organisations on what NHS Lanarkshire are promising to be the most advanced hospital in Scotland when it opens.
Graeme Reid, MRP director, said: “Sustainability lies at the core of the project’s design philosophy. The Monklands Replacement Project aims to be low carbon, helping NHS Scotland deliver a net zero carbon health service.
“An Environmental Impact Assessment will be published as part of the planning application. This will assess the impact of the project on the natural environment and set out ways to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the area in Wester Moffat, east of Airdrie.”
In the plans, the hospital is placed to allow retention of the existing trees and plans to maximise the natural environment the hospital sits within, including connection to and improvement of the North Calder Water Heritage Trail.
Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on connecting patients, the public and staff with the outdoors which will enhance wellbeing, offering spaces for both active enjoyment and calm reflection.
The project team have worked with Forestry and Land Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council and other stakeholders to protect and enhance the North Calder Heritage Trail and surrounding natural environment.
The new University Hospital Monklands will also benefit from increased parking provision compared to the current hospital, including the construction of a multi-story car park.
The final number of spaces will be determined in liaison with North Lanarkshire Council in their role as planning authority.
Patients representatives and clinical staff have worked together on the Monklands Replacement Project throughout its planning journey, sharing thoughts and ideas based on their own experience.
Fiona Cowan, MRP clinical lead – nursing, said: “The collaboration between service users and staff in the planning of the new hospital will transform our clinical model and help to reshape how we deliver healthcare across the county. It’s an exciting time for us all.
“The project team will continue to work with staff and patients from across Lanarkshire over the coming months to help shape how the facility will look and feel as we move forward with this ambitious vision for the evolution of health services in Lanarkshire.”
The formal planning process will allow the public to comment on the MRP proposals.