£17 Million Investment To Help Reduce Delays

A £17 million investment in additional theatre capacity and a new MRI scanner will help reduce waiting times at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Two new operating theatres will be opened in the next year to focus on general and orthopaedic surgery. This will enable around 1,500 extra joint replacement operations to be carried out each year. The new MRI scanner, the second to be purchased for the hospital, will deliver around 8,000 additional scans each year.

The additional Scottish Government funding, which forms part of a new National Waiting Times Improvement Plan published today, includes £7 million for capital costs and a recurring £10 million for staffing and supplies. Extra operating lists will run in the hospital’s existing 14 theatres, including extended sessions over weekends, enabling hundreds of extra operations to be performed. A new 32 bed ward will also be established for patients who need inpatient care fallowing surgery.

NHS Forth Valley will also enter into a partnership with the Golden Jubilee National Hospital to improve the training and recruitment of clinical staff across both sites.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman visited Forth Valley Royal Hospital to meet staff yesterday (Monday).

Ms Freeman said:

“This is a significant investment in the facilities at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, and one that will bring substantial benefit for years to come. The extra capacity and new MRI scanner will reduce waiting times for both procedures and diagnostic tests, meaning better outcomes for patients.

“While investment is important, it’s also vital that we improve the way the health and social care system operates. The partnership between NHS Forth Valley and the Golden Jubilee is a good example of the kind of innovative collaboration we want to see.

“Our new National Waiting Times Improvement Plan – a Programme for Government commitment – sets out how we aim to substantially and sustainably improve waiting time performance across the whole of Scotland.”

NHS Forth Valley Chief Executive, Cathie Cowan, said:

“We know that waiting for a scan or operation can be very stressful and this substantial investment will help us to increase capacity and reduce delays for local patients.

“It also provides an opportunity to develop a unique new partnership with the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank. This could include the joint recruitment and training of doctors and nurses who could work across both sites to develop and maintain their skills. It could also, over time, support greater regional working by providing additional capacity to offer treatment to some patients from other Health Board areas.”

Jill Young, Chief Executive of the Golden Jubilee Foundation, said:

“With a vision of leading quality, research and innovation, the Golden Jubilee Foundation is proud to be working with the Scottish Government and NHSScotland colleagues to bring the ‘Jubilee Model’ of care to other areas of Scotland.

“We are delighted to be exploring new and innovative technologies and ways of working with our colleagues in NHS Forth Valley that will provide NHSScotland with sustainable services for the future and ensure that more patients are treated quicker than before.”