South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed confirmation from the Scottish Government that the new NHS Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary project will have targeted community benefits, including the creation of 150 new jobs.
In a parliamentary question Ms McAlpine sought assurances from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Shona Robison MSP, that employment and local development opportunities would result from the construction of the new hospital.
The replacement for the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary is currently progressing as planned, with construction due to commence in spring 2015, following the financial close of the project in February.
Ms Robison said:
“NHS Dumfries and Galloway has a requirement in the project agreement for targeted community benefits, which include recruitment and training, small and medium enterprise supplier development and educational opportunities.
“High Wood Health, the project delivery partner, is working closely with NHS Dumfries and Galloway employment and education specialists. That work includes a commitment to create 150 new jobs, 36 of which will be apprenticeships. NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s project team will, as enablers, work in partnership with HWH and agencies to maximise the opportunities that arise during the delivery of the contract.
Ms McAlpine commented:
“I am delighted that this project is progressing as planned and that NHS Dumfries and Galloway is fully committed to delivering community benefits as part of the procurement, construction and operational phase of this project, as is required by the Scottish Government’s Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act.
“It is vital that public sector spending on services like health and education provide targeted benefits for the local community and invest in local small and medium sized businesses.
“I look forward to seeing the new Royal Infirmary in operation and the boost it will provide to the local economy during the development process.”