The keys to the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary (DGRI) were presented yesterday to NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
NHS chief executive Jeff Ace said: “I am absolutely delighted to be handed the keys to our new hospital.
“It’s a fantastic facility set in exceptional surroundings and has by far exceeded our expectations.”
He added: “This is a truly momentous occasion for NHS Dumfries and Galloway and we cannot thank High Wood Health and construction partner Laing O’Rourke enough for turning our vision for the new DGRI into a reality.”
Construction on the new facility at Garroch Loaning began in June 2015 under a non-profit distribution model, after a £146 million refurbishment of the existing hospital on Bankend Road did not go ahead — in part due to requirements of the Government-backed private financing scheme.
Combined costs of constructing and then maintaining the new district general hospital for the next 25 years have been put at £533 million. Banks have been lending to a consortium of builders, with the Scottish Government paying 93 per cent of annual payback charges and NHS Dumfries and Galloway the rest.
Over the next 12 weeks the finished building will be fully equipped, with IT systems up and running and over 2000 staff taking part in an orientation programme introducing them to a new environment which gives every patient their own room.
A four-day transfer of patients, staff and equipment will take place on the weekend of December 8 to 11.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway chief operating officer Julie White said: “We are now only a few months away from our staff and patients being able to experience the benefits of a modern, state-of-the-art facility which will enable us to continue to provide the highest possible standards of care to our patients in the 21st century, with the added advantage of technological advances in many aspects of healthcare.”