Plans to Bring Healthcare Closer to Home in Clacks

Work is underway to explore the potential to deliver more health services locally in Clackmannanshire as part of wider plans to improve access and give patients and their families greater choice in when they attend or visit hospital.

A range of outpatient clinics, currently being delivered at either Forth Valley Royal Hospital or Stirling Community Hospital, are being considered. These include dermatology, pre-operative assessment, diabetic retinal screening and maternity booking clinics.

The aim is to initially provide up to ten new outpatient clinics at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre in Sauchie. These could provide around 4,000 new appointments each year, improve access and reduce travelling time for thousands of local patients. It would also build on the new AAA screening and rehabilitation classes for patients with chronic lung conditions, which were recently introduced, and complement the wide range of existing health services provided at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre which account for more than 30,000 appointments each year.

NHS Forth Valley is also examining the potential to introduce a new open visiting policy which would cover the majority of inpatient wards at all of its hospitals. This could give local people more choice in when they visit family and friends, reduce onsite traffic and congestion and provide greater flexibility for people who use public transport to travel to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Additional work is 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.

NHS Forth Valley has also approved plans to extend the current H1/H2 bus services in Clackmannanshire on an interim basis until the end of December 2014.  This will allow a short-life working group, made up of representatives from NHS Forth Valley, Clackmannanshire Council and the voluntary sector, to work together to identify an alternative community-based transport solution which could then be put in place before the end of the year.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive of NHS Forth Valley, said:

 “We are committed to delivering more services closer to home to make it easier for patients to access healthcare advice and treatment.  We also want to give local people greater choice in when they attend our hospitals, both as a patient and a visitor.

“Collectively these proposed new developments would enable us to deliver more flexible, accessible health services which meet the needs of local patients and their families.”

Work is now underway to review and assess options for the new outpatient clinics which could start operating locally in Clackmannanshire from April 2014. Proposals for new open visiting arrangements and a more flexible patient appointment system are currently being assessed and, if approved, could be introduced in the next few months .