Advanced Nursing and AHP Roles Help to Reduce Waiting Times

A number of experienced nurses and radiographers across NHS Forth Valley have undertaken additional training to carry out minor surgical procedures and mammography reporting to help increase capacity and reduce waiting times.

This includes Dean Barrowman, an Advanced Surgical Care Practitioner in the Urology Hub at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Dean, who has undertaken specialist training, is one of the only nurses in Scotland who is carrying out their own surgical lists for patients requiring vasectomies and circumcisions.

Mr Joby Taylor, NHS Forth Valley Consultant Urologist, who was involved in training Dean to carry out these surgical procedures, said: “Referrals for minor surgical procedures such as vasectomies and circumcisions account for more than 10% of our overall workload so being able to train experienced nurses like Dean to carry out these operations has helped increase capacity, reduce waiting times and free up Consultant time to carry out more complex operations and procedures.”

Dean Barrowman said: “I already had experience carrying out a range of skin procedures which I enjoyed but I was looking for a new challenge so when the opportunity came up to carry out additional training with the urological team in NHS Forth Valley, I was keen to learn new surgical skills.

“The feedback from local patients has been great and they have responded really well to this new role and are very comfortable in having these procedures carried out by an experienced nurse who has undertaken the additional specialist training required. I am probably the only person in Scotland who is currently carrying out these procedures with this level of autonomy.”

Marie Stein, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, who works across the breast and skin services at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, is also very positive about the new advanced practice roles and the benefits for staff and patients.

She explained: “I run a number of outpatient clinics for the breast service and I also have been trained to carry out a range of minor surgical procedures such as biopsies and the removal of skin lesions.

“I really enjoy learning new skills and the greater variety that this new advanced nursing role offers. It also has helped us to increase capacity and see patients more quickly which is really important.”

Nurse Endoscopists are also working with the Endoscopy Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital where they have been trained to carry out a number of new endoscopy techniques such as cytosponge endoscopy and colon capsule endoscopies.

In addition, advanced practice roles are being developed for a range of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) including Advanced Practice Radiographers who have been trained in reporting scans such as mammograms.

A number of Healthcare Support Workers are also undertaking additional training to carry out Assistant Practitioner roles within a range of areas, including nursing and radiology.

This short video features interviews with a number of local Advanced Practice Nurses in Forth Valley Royal Hospital.