AS MANY will be aware, North Berwick Community Council have been gathering letters from people from across the community, sharing their experiences of the Edington Cottage Hospital.

One of the many big concerns faced by the community relating to the Edington is the complete lack of any minor injuries facility for under-18s.

We have received an outrageous letter from a local resident outlining how her daughter had taken a fall and, owing to the removal of services at the Edington by NHS Lothian, the girl required to be taken to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People (RHCYP).

The family did not have access to a car, so an ambulance was called.

NHS Lothian sent their ambulance from Livingston, which took over an hour to arrive in North Berwick; the child and her mother subsequently spent hours waiting to be seen at the RHCYP – no doubt, a distressing experience for both, particularly when the situation could have likely been resolved at the Edington within half an hour.

There are currently no trains at the weekend between Edinburgh and North Berwick, and at the time the bus service was also terminated.

The girl’s mother tried to arrange a taxi; however, no firm was found willing to take the fare.

The mother told us: “I was at my wit’s end, how many other people who don’t drive will have to go through this?

“It was so stressful, I’m also six months pregnant so it really took a toll on my mental health.”

Thankfully, this family were able to stay the night with friends; however, not everyone has friends nearby – would these people have to stump up for a night in a hotel or, worse, sleep on a bench at Waverley?

Not only is the removal of the inpatient facility and the replacement of minor injuries with a CTAC service putting the lives and health of residents of North Berwick and the surrounding areas at greater risk, but it is putting greater pressure on other NHS services and facilities across the Lothian region.

The situation is worrying and unsustainable. Not every family is in a position to readily afford a taxi fare between Edinburgh and North Berwick, never mind an overnight stay.

NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government must get their act together and ensure that all services are reopened at the Edington as a matter of urgency.

It is unacceptable to leave a mother, a young child and an unborn baby stranded in Edinburgh.

If you have current examples of how the removal of the inpatient facility or changes to the minor injuries unit at the Edington have affected you and your family, please write to

Judy Lockhart-Hunter


North Berwick Community Council