On Air Now
Ellie Taylor & Anna Whitehouse 10pm - 1am
18 March 2019, 06:42
A children's hospital ward which has been closed for almost two years is due to reopen to inpatients in what has been described as an "important milestone".
The ward at St John's Hospital in Livingston has not been able to provide round the clock care due to staffing pressures since July 2017.
On Monday it will open again for four nights a week from Monday through to Thursday while also acting as a short-stay assessment unit on Friday to Sunday.
It will then fully reopen in October.
Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director at NHS Lothian, said: "This is a really important milestone for us and we are really pleased that we can reinstate the inpatient paediatric service.
"Parents don't have to do anything differently, they will still access care in the same way, if it is during the week or weekend.
"It does mean, however, that patients who would have been travelling through to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children for inpatient treatment will be able to stay in St John's Hospital during week nights."
The resumption of overnight services comes three months after NHS Lothian recruited three new trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs), with the unit at St John's now staffed by a team of consultants, nurses and a greater number of ANPs.