Plans for a new multi-million-pound specialist orthopaedic centre for Fife have moved a step closer to fruition.
The Scottish Government has invited NHS Fife to produce an outline business case for a state-of-the-art facility, most likely a brand new building connected to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
The bid will include proposals for three new theatres and a supporting ward.
The region’s orthopaedics service has been commended for its excellence in care by the British Orthopaedic Society and its work is renowned across Scotland.
However, it is currently the only in-patient department left in the hospital’s deteriorating tower block which is in need of major refurbishment.
Hip and knee operations have previously been disrupted due to drainage problems in the 1967-built structure and services have been hampered by flooding, leaks and electrical issues.
NHS Fife announced at a board meeting this week it intended to submit a business case.
Chairperson Tricia Marwick hailed the invitation as the first stage of approval by the Scottish Government.
“The number of patients requiring orthopaedic intervention, such as hip or knee replacement, continues to rise and is one of the most common surgical procedures undertaken in the NHS,” she said.
“Fife is fortunate to have one of the best renowned and most forward-thinking orthopaedic teams anywhere in the country and I am delighted we have been invited to produce an outline business case for three new theatres and supporting ward area.
“This is the first stage of approval by the Scottish Government and it would see the construction of a new-build elective orthopaedic centre at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
“The specialist centre will require significant capital investment to complete and will put Fife at the heart of orthopaedic excellence across Scotland.”
The Victoria’s tower block is in need of £29 million of investment just to bring it up to the required standard.
Health bosses said doing nothing would present major issues around the safety of facilities and would pose a health and safety and infection control risk.