It had been hoped that the vital piece of equipment would be in place before April, but that has been delayed, members of Borders NHS Board were informed when they met via video-link yesterday, Thursday, February 3.
Andrew Bone, NHS Border’s director of finance, also reported a slight delay in the completion of a new forensic medical examiner suite at Borders General Hospital in Melrose.
The suite is to be used for the examination of victims of sexual abuse and assault within the region. Currently those victims need to undergo examination in Edinburgh.
Mr Bone said: “The capital position is heavily influenced by both the disruption in the construction industry and our internal challenges of trying to undertake projects within the current environment, given all the restrictions we have to face.
“Two big items are the CT scanner replacement and the endoscopy equipment. The CT scanner will not be installed this financial year, which is not what we expected previously. The planning for that is it will be installed over the course of this summer.
“The endoscopy equipment was an agreement that has come through the National Infrastructure Board, where we have been able to get an accelerated programme for the replacement of the endoscopy equipment, which has been highlighted previously as a high risk issue in terms of the age of the equipment. In our perspective that is a positive in the midst of all the difficulties around capital.
“The headline on this is that a lot of the building projects will incur slippage on them. The equipment we are accelerating as much as we can from next year’s programme to try and get ahead in terms of replacement and manage that over two years. It is a challenging position and I wouldn’t want to mask that.”
Mr Bone also revealed a slight delay in the completion of a forensic medical examiner suite at Borders General.
He added: “Part of the national strategy is that every national NHS Board area would have a forensic medical examiner suite within their own area. At the moment our forensic medical examinations are undertaken in Edinburgh, so this is essentially sexual abuse and assault. So in terms of the progress towards that the work is ongoing, there has been a little bit of disruption in terms of the schedule.
“We had agreed a schedule with the Scottish government of a timeline to the end of March. It is likely we will slip a few weeks into April for completion of that work. The reality of trying to work in a busy hospital environment during Covid etc means not everything is manageable.”