NHS Highland has unveiled plans to construct a “temporary” operating theatre at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness as £28million of improvements works are planned.
The mobile theatre aims to provide a spacious, high-quality medical facility for staff and patients over the next two years to meet increased demand for treatment.
One large operating theatre will be based within the temporary unit, with an adjoining anaesthetic room and two-bed recovery area, as well as a changing room, scrub area and utility area.
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The facility will be connected to the main building through the formation of link corridor.
An NHS Highland spokesman said: “The plans relate to the installation of an additional Vanguard Unit at Raigmore Hospital. This will provide increased capacity for the hospital and help to reduce waiting times.”
A multi-million pound development to Raigmore Hospital will see nine theatres upgraded, along with the construction of a 10th orthopaedic theatre.
The new temporary unit will remain in place during the works in an effort to prevent lengthy waiting times and disruption to both staff and patients.
MSP Edward Mountain said: “I welcome this initiative to cut waiting times and I look forward to seeing NHS Highland making full use of the mobile theatre.
“It is important to ensure that NHS Highland have sufficient medical staff to allow the facility to operate at maximum capacity and I do hope that this is the case.”
A planning application has been lodged to the Highland Council.
Inverness Millburn councillor Ian Brown said: “I think it just goes to show the continuing investment by NHS Highland on the premises, by improving the services to the public as well because it is a very busy hospital and technology is always advancing.
“It’s good to know we are doing our best to keep up with it technology as it advances.
“It shows you of the continuing change of Raigmore Hospital over the last 30 years when the war block opened and we still think of Raigmore as a new hospital and its far from it but there is lots and lots of money getting spent here.”