PROCEDURES carried out at a new £70 million hospital will be broadcast live to medical professionals and students as it invests in state-of-the-art equipment.

East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington officially opened this week and is offering a range of services, from minor surgery to an out-of-hours’ GP service.

But it is also aiming to lead the way in specialist areas, with an entire suite dedicated to endoscopy, complete with a training unit.

The endoscopy department includes its own screening room where people can watch procedures as they are carried out.

And there are plans to broadcast live across the country as their specialists carry out their work.

About £700,000 in new equipment has been ordered for the suite.

The new hospital, which replaces two facilities – Roodlands and Herdmanflat hospitals – opened its outpatients department to patients several months ago and is now to welcome patients to its other departments.

With a single reception area for patients accessing all services, the hospital has been designed with floor to ceiling windows and indoor and outdoor areas for staff and patients to enjoy.

A cubicle for providing phototherapy sessions to patients suffering from skin conditions has been installed and in the IV therapy department, where patients will be able to receive blood transfusions, talks are being held with the Western General Infirmary in Edinburgh to introduce chemotherapy treatments.

Gordon Gray, services manager at the hospital, said the difference offering the treatments at the new hospital would have on local residents was huge.

He said: “Sometimes with phototherapy a session can be as short as 15 seconds but patients have to travel over an hour to get to Edinburgh for it. This is going to make a huge difference and we are talking about offering chemotherapy day treatment which will also be a huge benefit and avoid long travel times.”

The hospital has a large staff area with access to a balcony; gardens are being created around the hospital and areas for communal eating areas in all the wards, with plans to encourage residents to use them rather than stay in their rooms.

All the rooms in the hospital are single with en suite bathrooms, with two wards expected to remain vacant once it opens to provide additional beds as the population increases in the coming years.

Royal Voluntary Service has created a cafe in the main reception area and Carers of East Lothian are due to move into offices as well as local radio.

The GP out-of-hours service is also at the hospital with a separate entrance for emergency appointments outwith normal practice hours.

Alison Macdonald, director of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “It will enable people to have a range of procedures in a brand new, purpose-built hospital for which they previously had to travel to Edinburgh or further.

“It will also be a real asset to the community, with public rooms available to local groups, local radio and grounds which will be open to all.”

The hospital has a total of 132 beds for long-stay patients, many of whom will come from the stepdown ward operating at Tranent’s Crookston Care Home, and short-stay patients as well as 20 ortho-rehabilitation patients.

The final phase of work at the hospital will focus on the car park and landscaping, with the entire development being complete in the spring. Work began nearly three years ago.