Work starts on Ayrshire community hospital


Ground-breaking ceremony marks start of project to build mental health and community hospital

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held to mark the start of construction of a new community hospital in Ayrshire.

Representatives of NHS Ayrshire and Arran and North Ayrshire Council joined Balfour Beatty staff to celebrate the beginning of work on the new 206-bed mental health and community facility that will bring together a full range of inpatient and outpatient services.

Speaking at the ceremony, NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s chief executive, John Burns, said: “The start of construction is a key milestone in this exciting new development that will ensure local people have access to state-of-the-art facilities. As the balance of care is now shifting towards the community, it is more important than ever that patients can receive quality care as close to home as possible.”

As part of the development, Balfour Beatty has committed to provide a number of initiatives that will benefit the community, including 126 work placement opportunities for young people and priority groups, 18 apprenticeships and two graduate opportunities, 100% interview guarantee for local residents, and 310 days of staff support for Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) clients over the lifetime of the project.

Burns said: “It’s imperative that projects such as this are able to give back to the community and we are delighted the development is able to offer recruitment and training benefits to local people, as well as supply chain opportunities for Ayrshire-based companies.”

Murray Easton, Balfour Beatty regional managing director for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be starting construction work on the NHS Ayrshire and Arran acute mental health and community development project.

“Balfour Beatty and NHS Ayrshire and Arran worked closely on this project in securing financial support for this project in just 17 weeks. We look forward to building on this strong relationship to deliver a high-quality health care facility for the people of Ayrshire and Arran.

Councillor Anthea Dickson, cabinet member for health and social services, added: “I warmly welcome the start of construction on this new facility. It will be a fantastic asset for local residents and communities.

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“The modern high-quality design will deliver a friendly environment for both patients and staff and that, in turn, will promote wellbeing and high-quality professional care.”