More than a year after the Edington hospital’s community ward was first closed to patients, the staffing challenges which continue to keep it shut have again been raised in the Scottish Parliament.

Martin Whitfield MSP asked the Cabinet Secretary for Health Humza Yousaf what specific help the Scottish Government has offered to NHS Lothian to assist it with the recruitment challenges it is facing in order to help get the hospital open again.

Mr Yousaf’s reply focused on efforts to free up capacity in Edinburgh, which he said he hoped would eventually help to free up staff to be able to return to other community assets such as the Edington hospital.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“It is now more than a year since the closure of the Edington Hospital and, as we head into what will potentially be the worst ever Winter for the NHS, there is still no prospect of the ward re-opening any time soon.

“Residents and campaigners have worked tirelessly to maintain a focus on re-opening the hospital. But the Health Secretary’s answer to my latest question provided no new information.

“Dealing with the recruitment and retention challenges facing NHS Lothian is key to ensuring vital community assets like the Edington have a future. The Health Secretary must do more to help NHS Lothian tackle these problems and get staff in place where they are needed.”