£70million spent on emergency NHS hospital in Scotland which treated NO Covid patients

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The Scottish Government has admitted the build and running of the NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow is expected to cost about £67million. This will include £29million in running costs and £38million in construction costs but the final figure is expected to soar.


 

Additional costs are also expected in the form of a bill for “loss of earnings” due to the ongoing closure of the events.

Built at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow at the beginning of the outbreak, the hospital has not been required to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients due to continued suppression of the virus.

However, hundreds of outpatient consultations have taken place at the hospital with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claiming the hospital “remains a vital asset in our phased approach to resuming NHS services safely where we can.”

The figures were revealed after Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was probed about the hospital by MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White.


 

Responding to a parliamentary question from White, Ms Freeman said: “The NHS Louisa Jordan was established to help ensure NHS Scotland had extra capacity to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and stood ready to do so since April 20, 2020.

“The set-up costs are £31million. The total infrastructure costs, including set-up and decommissioning, are within the overall estimated costs of £38million.

“The lease for the NHS Louisa Jordan at the SEC has been extended until the end of April 2021 and expected running costs to then are £29million.

“It should be noted negotiations with the SEC are ongoing in relation to potential loss of income.

“Based on the total costs of the NHS England programme (£220million), we are confident that NHS Louisa Jordan represents value for money.

“We will continue to monitor monthly running costs with regards to the NHS Louisa Jordan’s role in the remobilisation of NHS services.”

Donald Cameron MSP, Scottish Tories Health Spokesman, said the SNP had to be “fully transparent” about how much the hospital would cost the taxpayer “given that the final bill could be huge if venues are going to be compensated for the loss of earnings as well.”

Mr Cameron, added: “It can now serve as a vital resource in tackling the backlog of operations that has grown over the last few months.”

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Monica Lennon MSP, Scottish Labour health spokeswoman, added: “The Scottish Government must ensure the NHS Louisa Jordan is used to its full potential and that public money is used responsibly.

“Compensation payments to the SEC must be transparent and justified.

“Scottish Labour called for the NHS Louisa Jordan to be utilised to treat patients who are stuck on growing waiting lists.

“After all, no one wants to see a multi-million-pound hospital being under-used when so many are in pain.”

A recent Scottish Government report said estimates were that “surgery services will operate in most health boards at around 60 percent of pre-COVID Levels for the next 24 months, and perhaps longer if there are further surges in COVID-19 incidence.”

 

It set out a framework for classifying patients into five groups, ranging from “priority level one” cases, where surgery is needed within 72 hours, to “priority level four”, where surgery can be safely scheduled after 12 weeks.

 

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Secretary announced on July 5 that some planned healthcare that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic will now be carried out at the NHS Louisa Jordan to help NHS Scotland recover and the hospital has seen around 2000 patients, including orthopaedic, plastic surgery and dermatology consultations, since the start of July

“In addition, imaging services have started, with CT patients being seen on site.

“General X-ray services to support orthopaedic clinics commence on September 21 and activity is anticipated to increase from 500 to 2000 per week by mid-October, with a range of additional outpatient services to support NHS Scotland.

“The SEC do not charge the NHS Louisa Jordan rental fees for the venue but will charge for any costs, such as heating and lighting, directly attributable to its use as a medical facility.

“The agreement with the SEC included a clause allowing for loss of earnings.”

The SEC Glasgow confirmed their agreement with the Scottish Government to facilitate NHS Louisa Jordan includes “a clause about the loss of earnings.”

“Details of this will be considered in due course,” a spokesman added. 

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