Her Royal Highness Princess Anne has officially opened the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary at a ceremony attended by staff, dignitaries and local representatives.
The programme for the event included a tour of the hospital where Her Royal Highness Princess Anne met over seventy staff.
On the morning of the event it was ‘business as usual’ in the hospital which meant many staff and patients were delighted to be there when Her Royal Highness Princess Anne arrived at the hospital and to witness the unveiling ceremony.
The unveiling of the plaque was followed by the presentation of a gift by staff member Jane Leask, Occupational Therapist and on departure presentation of a posy by her daughter.
Jeff Ace, Chief Executive, NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We are delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Anne to officially open the new district general hospital for the region. It is a great honour and a momentous occasion that we have been looking forward to since we opened to patients and particularly as the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.
“The new hospital has been the biggest undertaking in the history of the Health Board and we would like to thank the Scottish Government for their investment in a new, modern, fit for purpose and technologically enabled facility. We take this opportunity also to thank High Wood Health with architects and designers Ryder Architecture in collaboration with NBBJ and construction partner Laing O’Rourke who have turned our vision for the new hospital as a ‘healing environment’ into a reality.
“Delivering a modern, patient centred and highly efficient environment is central to the overall reshaping of health services across Dumfries and Galloway and we will continue to do that with the same commitment and dedication to making the patient and staff experience the best it can be.
“We would like to thank everyone involved with planning for this event and all those who have been able to join us at this celebratory event to mark the official opening, and in particular to Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.”
Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey said: “This new hospital is truly fit for the 21st century, with modern services responding to the changing needs of the population.
“We have invested over £2 billion in Scotland’s health infrastructure since 2013-14 and the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary is a fantastic example of our commitment towards continually improving health services and is just one of many major projects benefiting patients right across Scotland.”
Jane Leask, Occupational Therapist at DGRI said: “I was delighted to be asked to present the gift to Her Royal Highness Princess Anne representing all the hard-working staff in the hospital and my profession as occupational therapist, and as she is patron of The Royal College of Occupational Therapists. I hope Her Royal Highness Princess Anne was impressed by what she saw in this fantastic new hospital.”
See next week’s paper for full story including the royal visit to Kircudbright Galleries.