Forth Valley Royal Hospital Celebrates 10th Birthday
Forth Valley Royal Hospital celebrated 10 years since the official opening of the hospital on Tuesday 6th July 2021 and, to help mark this important milestone, staff and patients enjoyed specially decorated birthday cupcakes.
In the 10 days leading up to the anniversary a number of staff who have worked at the hospital since it opened shared their first impressions, memories and hopes for the future. Forth Valley Nurses Choir recorded a special rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to mark the day and Her Majesty The Queen, who officially opened the hospital accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, sent her best wishes to local staff and patients. In addition, the families of some of the first babies born in Forth Valley Royal Hospital shared updates on their children as they approach their 10th birthdays.
Since the hospital was officially opened on 6th July 2011, it has provided the highest standards of care and treatment to thousands of local patients from across Forth Valley, contributed to world-class research on new treatments and helped train a new generation of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Nearly 100,000 operations have been carried out, 1.1 million patients have attended outpatient appointments and around 30,000 babies have been welcomed into the world over the last ten years.
Karen, Mcfarlane, Interim Department Manager for Paediatrics, NHS Forth Valley, said it was amazing to think that the tiny babies born in 2011 were now almost ready to move on to secondary schools. She explained: “It’s lovely to see some of our very first arrivals and hear about how they have grown and developed over the last ten years. It’s also great to hear that one of them still treasures the toy bunny and Forth Valley First vest which they received when they were born.”
From the outset Forth Valley Royal Hospital embraced the use of new technology and was the first hospital in the UK to use a fleet of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to deliver a wide range of supplies to hospital wards. These ‘robotic’ vehicles, which resemble mini fork lift trucks, travel in their own separate corridors and lifts carrying bed linen, meals, clinical waste and medical supplies.
Other innovations included a fully robotic pharmacy system, capable of labelling medicines as well as stocking supplies and picking up drugs and a robotic mail sorting system. Robotic equipment is also used to help clean the hospital’s 16 hi-tech operating theatres.
The sheer scale of the construction project meant that services transferred across on a phased basis. First to move into the new building were inpatient services from the former Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary, followed by inpatient mental health services from Stirling and Falkirk and finally inpatient, emergency and maternity services from the former Stirling Royal Infirmary.
Since then Forth Valley Royal Hospital has continued to drive forward a wide range of healthcare innovations. These include major advances in the diagnosis of skin cancers to the development of new virtual technology to help examine and treat eye injuries.
NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive, Cathie Cowan, said: “Despite the many challenges of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 18 months, staff have gone above and beyond to maintain vital services, support each other and care for local patients and their families. Although large scale celebrations weren’t possible due to the pandemic, many of the staff who have worked at the hospital since it opened have been sharing their memories to mark this special day.”
Forth Valley Royal Hospital has also developed close links with many partners including Forestry and Land Scotland (formerly known as Forestry Commission Scotland), who created a network of woodland walks and installed a viewing platform over the lochan, and Maggie’s Caring Cancer Centres who opened a new Forth Valley centre on the hospital site. Forth Valley Royal is also supported by a wide network of local volunteers and fundraisers who support local staff, patients and families.