Interesting and varied week again, including a lengthy NHS Lothian Board meeting on Wednesday sandwiched between two visits to different health facilities. Firstly, the relatively new Chalmers Centre for Sexual Health at Lauriston Place. A wide range of services delivered there including STI, HIV, pregnancy advice and contraception and we were given an intriguing tour and chatted to some of the staff. Fantastic building too with a beautiful atrium space where the old building meets the new. The stained glass window in the picture depicts a family tree, appropriately.
Thursday saw a visit by Housing Minister Margaret Burgess MSP to Chesser House to check on our preparations for the introduction of the Scottish Welfare Fund, which has been devolved to Councils and will become operational on 1st April. I think the minister came to the same conclusion as me, which is that following a great deal of work by council staff, we are as well prepared as could be expected given the uncertainties that lie ahead. There's more information on this link to the Council's website.
I then paid a visit to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital to meet Tim Montgomery for a chat and a tour. Visited three wards in all and talked to staff and some patients. Parts of the building are far from ideal and there are plans to redevelop the whole site over the next few years. I was struck though by the professionalism of the staff and the quiet way they go about their business. All was calm and peaceful when I was there but I understand it can be a bit hectic at times and the staff need to draw on all their skills and experience to deal with any issues that arise.