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Replacement hospital plan accelerates after ten-year delay

NHS Forth Valley health board agrees to work with Falkirk Council to build new facility.

Falkirk Community Hospital is no longer fit for purpose.
Falkirk Community Hospital is no longer fit for purpose. Google 2019

A promised replacement for an ageing hospital has moved a step closer.

NHS Forth Valley health board has agreed to work with Falkirk Council to make a new community hospital for the town a reality.

The current hospital buildings have been deemed not fit for purpose and work is ongoing to keep them safe

Plans to redevelop the site nearly ten years ago were put on hold because of the financial crash in late 2010 and only limited development has taken place since then.

However, following a meeting, the development of a new community hospital is set to be accelerated.

Falkirk councillor Allyson Black told the health board: "We need to get it done quickly, but it's really important we get it right.

"Doing that will relieve the pressure on other parts of the system."

A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley insisted the current facility posed no risk.

They said: "We review fire safety at our hospitals on a regular basis as part of our ongoing estates and maintenance programme.

"Falkirk Community Hospital complies with L1 fire direction standards and a range of preventative measures are in place to minimise the chance of fire occurring.

"Given the age of some of the hospital buildings, we have also been working to colleagues at health facilities Scotland to explore a range of additional measures to further enhance fire safety standards and funding has been set aside to complete this work before the end of the financial year.

"The ASDU (Aseptic Sterilisation Decontamination Unit) at Falkirk Community Hospital meets all relevant quality standards and is audited by external inspectors on a regular basis.

"While it currently remains fit for purpose, the facility is housed in an older building which will require to be modernised or replaced in the longer term.

"Similarly, a number of health records on the site are housed in older premises and we are currently exploring a number of alternative storage and scanning options."

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