NHS Forth Valley Drivers Win Award for Taking It the Extra Mile

Patients across Forth Valley are benefiting from new ways of working which have seen NHS Forth Valley drivers becoming multi-skilled.  The streamlined service, which has just received a prestigious national award, has resulted in additional specimen uplifts   at 51 health centres and the delivery of pharmaceutical supplies within Forth Valley Royal Hospital at weekends. This has improved existing services and helped free up clinical staff.

The changes have been made under a programme ‘The Generic Worker: The Drivers Journey’ which has won the NHS Scotland Facilities Innovation Award.

NHS Forth Valley’s Linen and Transport Manager Karen McKay said staff were delighted with their success. She explained: “Evidence suggested that traditional ways of working weren’t making the most effective use of time and talent. We reviewed the drivers’ rota and, as a team, looked at systems and training needs. This led to the birth of the generic worker. Not only have staff played an active role in modernising health services for the benefit of patients, but they too have benefitted in terms of their own personal development.”

All NHS Forth Valley drivers are now equipped with trackaphones and routes have been re-drawn to maximise efficiency. The new ways of working have also substantially reduced the use of external transport providers as NHS Forth Valley drivers now take pharmaceutical supplies to community hospitals at weekends and transport health records between sites. They are also making direct deliveries of health records to the Acute Assessment Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, ensuring that the most urgent case notes are in the  right place at the right time for the right patient.

In addition to providing a better service, the redesigned routes have also led to a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from the fleet  of around 60 vans and lorries.