New Clinics to be held in Clackmannanshire
A range of new outpatient clinics are to be held in Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre in Sauchie as part of wider plans to improve access and deliver more health services closer to home.
The new clinics, which will begin in April/May 2014, include pre-operative assessment, diabetic retinal screening and maternity pre-booking clinics.
Pre-operative assessment clinics will begin on Wednesday 2nd of April 2014 and will be held every Wednesday morning. Maternity pre-booking clinics will commence the first week of April and will be held on Tuesday and Friday mornings. These clinics are for patients who have self referred to the Maternity Service from the Clackmannanshire area where they will have history and bloods samples taken. Diabetic retinal screening will begin the first week of May 2014 and will take place every Monday. Epilepsy clinics will be held on the first Tuesday of every month from the start of May 2014 and additional dermatology clinics are due to start in the in the next few months. Opportunities to introduce further new clinics at the Clackmannanshire Centre, including rheumatology clinics, are also being explored.
The new clinics will improve access and reduce travelling time for thousands of local patients and complement the wide range of existing health services provided at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre where around 30,000 outpatient appointments take place each year.
Flexible visiting hours are also being introduced in all Forth Valley hospitals to enable family and friends to visit patients at a time more convenient to them. The new approach means that, from March 31st 2014, people will be able to visit patients in acute medical and surgical inpatient wards at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the two inpatient wards at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre, between 11.30am and 8.00pm, 7 days a week. Visiting times for the inpatient mental health wards at Forth Valley Royal Hospital will also be extended from 3pm – 8pm.
These changes will also help reduce onsite traffic and congestion and provide greater flexibility for people who use public transport to travel to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Under the new visiting arrangements, families will be asked to limit the number of visitors to two at a time, although in certain circumstances, this can be discussed with ward staff. Staff also recognise that there may be certain times, particularly with vulnerable patients, where visiting hours may need to be extended further, again this can be discussed with ward staff.
Jane Grant, Chief Executive of NHS Forth Valley, said: “The introduction of these new clinics are part of our commitment to deliver more services closer to home to make it easier for patients to access local healthcare advice and treatment.”
Additional work is also underway to review different options for a new more flexible appointment system which could give patients across Forth Valley a greater say in when they attend hospital for an outpatient clinic.