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Scottish government approves new hospital

Plans to build a replacement city hospital for sick children have been approved by the Scottish government.

NHS Lothian’s business case for a new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences will be accepted during a visit by health secretary Alex Neil to the site, due to take place this morning.

The hospital will be moving from Sciennes to Little France next to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The new site’s owners agreed to give the health board the land, currently a car park, in exchange for another site.

The contract for its construction will be put out to tender this autumn and the new hospital is due to open in 2017.

Over £1bn will be spent on NHS Scotland capital projects over the next two years, including £485m in 2013-14, the Scottish government said.

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said: “Parents across Scotland will be relieved to hear that progress is finally being made on delivering a new Sick Kids in Edinburgh.

“But no amount of spin can hide the fact that it will be delivered five years late and the current facilities were deemed not fit for purpose back in 2003.

“Staff, patients and parents will be disappointed at now having to cope for another four years with an unsuitable building, and it is only part of a crumbling NHS estate.”

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