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Community hospital plan rethink

25 February 09 14:17 GMT

Plans to build two new community hospitals in Falkirk and Stirling are being shelved, bosses at NHS Forth Valley have confirmed.

The health authority said changes in the "economic and policy landscape" meant existing hospital buildings may be refurbished instead of rebuilt.

A new £300m PFI hospital is being constructed in Larbert to converge many of the services offered in each site.

Health bosses said they did not expect the change to affect staff or services.

The health board had laid out plans to construct a community hospital in Stirling on the site of Stirling Royal Infirmary and another facility at Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary.

However, a spokesman said NHS Forth Valley were now looking again at the plans.

He said: "Factors we need to consider include new policy requirements on single rooms, as well as changes in the income we could expect from any land sales.

"While new-build was one of the original options available to us, it is prudent for us to see whether we can refurbish any of the existing buildings, as some are relatively modern."

The spokesman added that planners were now considering which areas of the existing hospitals could be reused in an effort to limit cost.

He said: "What matters is that we deliver the new model of care as efficiently as possible and we do not anticipate an adverse impact on our plans for either staff or services."

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