A MAJOR milestone for the £33 million elective orthopaedic centre being built at Victoria Hospital has been reached.

Construction on the new national treatment centre - which is expected to pave the way for innovative treatments such as robot-assisted surgery - has now been completed.

Carol Potter, chief executive at NHS Fife, updated board members at a meeting last Tuesday.

She said: “I’m really pleased to say that yesterday marked a major milestone around the national treatment centre for Fife orthopaedics as we moved from the construction phase into commissioning.

"Myself and a number of the directors had the pleasure of having a walk around the site yesterday – first time without our hard hats on.

"Over the course of the next month we will be preparing the centre to receive the first patients in early March.

"I’d certainly at this point in time like to pass on a huge thanks to everyone involved from Graham Construction through to the project team and many many other folk, too many to mention at this point in time.

"We will be doing the planning for the official opening and certainly further details will be available on that in due course."

Work commenced on the facility, part of a network across Scotland, in March 2021 when it became the largest capital project undertaken by NHS Fife since the opening of the new wing of Victoria Hospital in 2012.

The new four-storey building in Kirkcaldy will lead to more hip and knee replacements being carried out as day cases, which means patients won't have to stay overnight, and is predicted to increase capacity by more than 700 procedures.

It will have three operating theatres and 33 beds and is being built on what was a car park - new car parks are being created to replace the 147 lost spaces - and will be connected to the main buildings by a 15-metre link bridge.

The original completion date for the project was in late 2022.