Victoria HospitalEdit profile
Victoria Hospital is a large hospital situated to the north of the town centre in Kirkcaldy. As one of two main hospitals in Fife, this serves both the town and surrounding Mid-Fife area. The Victoria has been run by Fife Acute Hospital NHS trust since 1999, formerly the Kirkcaldy Acute Hospital trust.
Construction of the hospital began in 1955, surrounding the site of the sanatorium and fever hospital, completed between 1899 and 1910. The Hospital consists of three wings: East, West and South and a main tower block. An adjacent Maggie's Centre, one of five currently existing in Scotland is also located within the grounds. The Hospital is in line for a refurbishment plan as part of the trust's long term focus for the site. This will coincide with the new wing which will include a new A&E department; maternity unit and eleven new operating theatres, scheduled to open around 2010.
After the Second World War, there was demand for a more centralised and bigger hospital to be built in the town to be able to deal with the strains caused by a burgeoning population. This was going to replace the cottage hospital situated to the east of the town which had served as the main hospital in the town since 1890. The original site for the new hospital had been planned for the cottage hospital, but a lack of space for the expansion proved furtile to these plans. A site was eventually chosen around the sanatorium and fever hospital which was completed around 1899 and 1910. Construction of the new hospital began in 1955 and was completed in 1967 giving the entire complex a new name - Victoria.
The hospital was threatened with the possible loss of its A & E Department in 2005. These services were to be moved to Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline but the proposal was withdrawn after a severe backlash.
The hospital provides many facilities for the catchment area including an A&E department; Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) unit; Anaesthesia; Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Paediatric Surgery; Mental Heath Services; Infectious Diseases and Operating Theatres. Whyteman's Brae hospital which is part of the complex caters for psychiatry and elderly patients.
The hospital also has an adjacent Maggie's Centre for cancer sufferers, operating under the name of Maggie's Fife. This was opened in November 2006. Currently, this is one of five centres existing in Scotland. The centre, shaped like a prism, was designed by Zaha Hadid, and is her only completed building to date in the United Kingdom. The money for the project was raised via the Fife Free Press' Maggie's Appeal.
A radio station known as the Victoria Radio Network (VRN 1287) has been on the air since 1971. VRN is now considered one of the UK's longest running and successful hospital radios still on air. In 2002, the station was awarded a license to broadcast on Medium Wave 1287 kHz (AM) and transmits 24-hours a day.
Victoria Hospital is situated to the north of the town centre. There are main bus routes that serve the catchment area for the hospital particularly from Glenrothes, Leven and from the Railway Station. Bus stances can be found adjacent to the east wing entrance and on the opposite side of the road.
A major new wing to the south of the current tower block started in 2007 is due to be open and completed in 2010 as part of plans to centralise acute services by the NHS trust at this hospital. This will include an emergency care centre, maternity unit (to replace those in Forth Park at present), critical care, coronary care, ultrasound department and 11 new operating theatres. A new A&E department will form part of the new development, among other re-located services. The area surrounding the hospital will include signal controlled junctions; a new mini-roundabout and a possible park and ride system to prevent traffic gridlock in the area. New car spaces will also be provided at both the north and south ends of the hospital.