Effort to Increase Capacity and Reduce Delays Across Health & Care Services

Efforts continue to free up capacity and reduce delays in local hospital, community and primary care services across Forth Valley.

This includes the creation of a new dedicated entrance to the Urgent Care Centre at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to enable ambulance crews to bring patients directly to the Centre for assessment and treatment. This will not only enable patients to be seen quicker but will also free up capacity in the Emergency Department.

The number of contingency beds within ward treatment rooms and 4 bedded bays at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has reduced significantly over the last few months and new triage arrangements have been introduced within the Emergency Department to help reduce the number of people experiencing very long waits.

Work is also underway to develop a new community heart failure service to support patients in their own homes and local communities and help reduce the number of emergency admissions.

Action taken by both local Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) over the last few months has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of patients experiencing delays in being discharged from local hospitals. This has been achieved by a range of initiatives, including significant investment in the recruitment of additional social care and AHP staff, the creation of new community-based rehabilitation facilities and an increase in the number of home care packages being provided by independent care providers. Both HSCPs are committed to delivering a further 10% reduction in delayed discharges by the end of July 2023.

Andrew Murray, Medical Director, NHS Forth Valley, said: “We recognise there is still much more to do however we expect that these changes, along with ongoing efforts to increase the number of patients discharged before noon and at weekends, will help improve the experience of both staff and patients over the coming months.

“This will be supported by work to maximise the use of our Urgent Care Centre, refurbished discharge lounge and expanded Hospital at Home service, which can now support up to 30 patients who would previously have had to be admitted to hospital. We also want to build on the collaborative work underway across hospital, community and primary care services to improve the way we design and deliver care closer to home.”