THE final phase of a multi-million-pound hospital at the heart of East Lothian has been completed.

East Lothian Community Hospital, on the site of the former Roodlands Hospital in Haddington, has now been handed over to NHS Lothian and East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership.

The hospital welcomed the first inpatients in November last year, with the long-awaited £69 million project now finished.

As well as a variety of outpatient services, the hospital houses an increased number of inpatient beds and also offers meeting rooms, which can be booked by local groups.

However, there is no minor injuries unit or accident and emergency department, despite East Lothian’s growing population.

Calum Campbell, chief executive for NHS Lothian, said: “It’s great to see the East Lothian Community Hospital now fully complete.

“It really is a fantastic, attractive facility that is helping us to deliver high-quality care, closer to home.

“The project has been a really positive example of integrated planning and delivery between NHS Lothian, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership and East Lothian Council, working alongside our development partner Hub South East.”

The hospital, built by Morrison Construction, is the largest Hub project in Scotland.

The latest phase of car park and landscaping completes the development, following a successful handover of the main building in 2019 and the outpatients’ department in 2018.

Alison MacDonald, chief officer of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Hub South East and Morrison on the East Lothian Community Hospital, which is already proving its worth by bringing back to East Lothian a wide range of services that previously could only be accessed out of county.

“We are immensely proud of the new hospital and would like to thank staff and people in the community who engaged in its design and delivery.

“We are also very grateful to our neighbours in the surrounding community for their patience during the completion of the build and landscaping.

“We are confident that the completion of the new car park will alleviate pressure on on-street parking and provide good access for patients and visitors.

“East Lothian Community Hospital is a huge asset to the community in Haddington and East Lothian as a whole, as a centre of clinical expertise and, through its thoughtful landscaping, an additional area of green space for local community to enjoy.”

Hub South East began its involvement with the redevelopment of the old Roodlands Hospital site in 2012.

The project has received industry recognition, with shortlists in the Scottish Property Awards and a silver Best Healthcare project award at 2018’s International Partnerships Awards.

Richard Park, director of Hub South East, said: “Having been involved in this project since the early stages, I’m incredibly proud to have officially handed over the new hospital to our partners in NHS Lothian and the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership.

“The East Lothian Community Hospital is a great example of the strength of Hub’s strategic support service as we began our involvement with what was at the time a ground-breaking approach to demand and capacity analysis.”

The Courier, local politicians and community groups campaigned for more than a decade for the hospital to be built. It should have opened in 2009 but the project was beset with delays as different funding models were adopted.