The Scottish Government has approved the relocation of a major hospital in Lanarkshire.
University Hospital Monklands, in Airdrie, will be replaced by a “state-of-the-art” facility near to Wester Moffat Hospital on the east side of the town.
The Monklands Replacement Project (MRP) is necessary as the current hospital’s mechanical and electrical infrastructure has exceeded its life expectancy.
Neena Mahal, chair of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We are delighted that the cabinet secretary for health and sport, Jeane Freeman, has approved the recommendation by the board of NHS Lanarkshire that Wester Moffat should be the home of the new Monklands.
“The process of site selection for the MRP would not have been possible without the vital input we received from the public and our staff during our extensive stakeholder engagement process prior to the recommendation of a preferred site.
“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the MRP team and my board colleagues for their support and diligence.”
The current Monklands hospital has operated fully since 1977 and was earmarked for downgrading in 2006.
In 2007, the decision was overturned by then health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, who asked NHS Lanarkshire to submit proposals to keep three operational A&E services in the area.
The mechanical and electrical infrastructure of the ageing facility, the health board said, is beyond its life expectancy and is impacting on the delivery of care.
The health board said it recognised a number of stages of the MRP that need to be completed before construction of the new hospital can begin, the next being the outline business case.
University Hospital Monklands chief of medical services Dr Rory Mackenzie, a member of the MRP team, said: “This decision will be warmly welcomed by all my colleagues across the hospital.
“It is a crucial step forward on the road to a new Monklands that will be essential in supporting the ideal model of care for our future healthcare challenges, including the rising elderly population.
“We will use the latest technology to deliver Scotland’s first digital hospital and clinicians remain at the heart of the process, ensuring our new, ultra-modern hospital is designed to tackle public health issues such as the current coronavirus pandemic.”