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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
12.5m community hospital opens
Stranraer community hospital
The new building replaces two other hospitals in the area
The first staff and patients have moved into Stranraer's new 12.5m Galloway Community Hospital.

It is part of a phased occupation which will be completed over the next three months as services switch from the old Dalrymple and Garrick hospitals.

Health board area manager Alison Burns said the new hospital would provide some services not previously available to patients in Wigtownshire.

About 300 staff are expected to work in the building once it is fully occupied.

'Exciting development'

"This is an exciting development for Stranraer and Wigtownshire and represents a major investment in the west of our region by NHS Dumfries and Galloway," said Ms Burns.

"It is a facility we can be very proud of and one which will enhance the patient's experience."

The new hospital has also been welcomed by Elizabeth Wilson, who chairs the Stranraer Cancer Drop-in Centre.

"A cancer diagnosis brings with it a wave of questions and uncertainties, and being able to find the right information is vital at this difficult time," she said.

She said a new Macmillan information and support suite at the hospital should help provide much of the assistance needed.

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