Plans to create a new private hospital in Aberdeen have been approved – despite concerns sedated patients would be unable to flee a potential gas explosion.
The old Wood Group building, located on the corner of Wellheads Place and Wellheads Crescent, is to be converted into a new private clinic to treat patients using X-rays and MRI scans as well as offering minor procedures and physiotherapy.
It is hoped that the new facility run by TAC Healthcare Group will also be able to assist with Covid-19 testing while the pandemic is ongoing.
The firm applied to Aberdeen City Council for permission to change the use of the two-storey building.
A statement by Aurora Planning issued with the application stated that the clinic would provide occupational heath services and covid-19 testing to help meet a “significant deficit in operating capacity” in services privately as well as through the NHS.
Would create 40 jobs
The statement added that the proposal would create 40 jobs and provide a new service for residents in Dyce and across the city.
However previous concerns were raised the new hospital could be banned from using general anaesthetic in surgery, amid health and safety fears unconscious patients would be unable to flee a gas explosion.
Council officers warned a number of concessions will be required to quell concerns raised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
These centre around the clinic’s neighbouring property, which is used by Calor Gas for storage of up to 198 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
HSE considers it major hazard site
HSE classifies the depot as a “major hazard site,” and the clinic is situated within the “inner zone” of impact if any emergency was to unfold.
It told council planners the proposals carry a “perceived increased risk” compared to the building’s current function as an office.
The hazard zones indicated in council planning papers for TAC Healthcare’s Dyce clinic application.
At the moment, as many as 325 people can work from the property at any one time.
As a clinic, this would decrease to around 130 staff and patients spread throughout each day.
But HSE said the increased likelihood of members of the public who are ill or less mobile using the site poses more risks than it would as office space.
Admin staff at The Aberdeen Clinic have been working from the Dyce building since July 2020.
Prior to the clinic staff move the building had been empty for six years with no other occupants identified.
Aberdeen City Council granted the application stating that it the change of use would not conflict with surrounding businesses and it was in a “reasonable” location.
The proposal was approved subject to conditions.