Highlands & Islands

Major spending on Raigmore Hospital planned

NHS Highland's Raigmore Hospital
Image caption If given the go-ahead, the investment would be the biggest in the site for almost 40 years

The Highlands' flagship hospital is in line for a major facelift if health chiefs can secure central funding.

NHS Highland want to secure £76m for a major redevelopment of Raigmore Hospital - the biggest investment in the site for almost 40 years.

A further £12.5m has been set aside for cladding around the main tower block of the hospital in Inverness.

NHS Highland's board will be asked to approve the spending at a meeting on Tuesday.

Also planned is £21m for new GP surgeries in Inverness in a bid to keep pace with the rapid expansion of city.

'Fit for purpose'

Plans for a new Belford Hospital, at a cost of £20m, have also been outlined in a report to the board, and a further £5.3m is proposed for an upgrade of Caithness General in Wick.

The planned investment would be the subject of a bid to the Scottish government and is in addition to the current £28m revamp of the critical care wards at Raigmore.

A spokesman for NHS Highland said: "Within our capital plan we have put down a marker for a potential significant investment in Raigmore Hospital to ensure it remains 'fit for purpose' for the future.

"It is very early days for the plans as this investment will be required to go through the Scottish government's due process.

"It will also be subject to a complete business case in the same way as every other capital project."

Rising costs

The same meeting of the board next week will also hear of proposals to help NHS Highland achieve "unprecedented" savings of £100m between now and 2020.

Chief executive Elaine Mead said some work was already being done, including "significant" redesign on models of out-of-hours and out-patient care.

NHS Highland said pressures on services included an ageing population, difficulties with recruiting staff and rising costs.

In a report prepared by Ms Mead, seven initiatives have been set out to find efficiencies in areas such as adult care and medicine in 2017/18.

NHS Highland provides services in the Highlands and in Argyll and Bute.

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