THE Scottish Government has refuted a suggestion that East Lothian’s new multi-million-pound hospital will not open on time.

Iain Gray, East Lothian MSP, has regularly criticised the Scottish Government for delays to the East Lothian Community Hospital being built on the site of Roodlands Hospital, Haddington.

The politician said new analysis revealed that the hospital, which is costing in the region of £70 million, is among nearly 50 major infrastructure projects that are delayed or over budget across the country.

However, a spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The East Lothian Community Hospital is already partially operational and taking patients.

“The new £70 million hospital is progressing on time and on budget and we expect it to be fully operational in early 2020, as planned.

“This modern, purpose-built hospital will help improve the quality of care for people in East Lothian and should be welcomed by all.”

Mr Gray said the analysis, carried out by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), identified the community hospital as one of 30 projects that have had their completion date changed, although the alleged delay is only by a month on this occasion.

Mr Gray called on the Scottish Government to ensure there is no further slippage in the timetable of delivering the project.

He said the ‘delay’ came as “no surprise” and added: “While the latest delay is minor compared with the decade lost by Ministers’ dithering, it means the project will not be completed until 2020, 13 years after the SNP first assumed office. I want to ensure that this is the last delay in this vital project.

“East Lothian has waited long enough for a new community hospital and it should now be delivered without further delay.”