Update on Emergency Department Improvement Plan

NHS Forth Valley has developed an improvement plan to address the recommendations from the recent independent review of the Emergency Department (ED) as well as many additional suggested improvements put forward by local ED staff.

It includes plans to recruit additional clinical staff, including a new senior clinical nurse manager and additional medical staff, develop a new induction programme to support staff joining the department and appoint two Education Facilitators to provide onsite training, education, teaching and quality improvement support. All ED nursing staff will be given access to regular protected learning time to ensure they have similar learning opportunities as students, trainees and medical staff and targeted organisational development support will be put in place to strengthen multidisciplinary teamworking. Experienced ED nurses will be freed up from administrative duties to enable them to mentor more junior nursing staff and staffing levels along with 24/7 cover will be reviewed in partnership with local clinical staff. In addition, opportunities to develop the role of healthcare support workers within ED and the wider organisation will also be explored.

This work is already underway with the successful recruitment of medical staff to a number of new and existing posts – including two ED Consultants, four additional ED Development Fellows and three ED Specialty Doctors.

Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive, said: “There is no doubt that this is a very distressing report which raises a number of serious issues and concerns. However, I am pleased that staff felt confident to speak up and share their experiences as issues like these can only be tackled by listening to staff and acknowledging that these problems exist.

“Over the last few weeks, I, along with our Chair, met with Emergency Department staff to discuss the review and any other changes or improvements staff would like to see. Our improvement plan therefore goes further than the review recommendations to incorporate many of the ideas, suggestions and solutions put forward by local ED staff.”

“A number of the issues staff highlighted in relation to staffing, training and support can be addressed quite quickly. Others such as rebuilding trust, building relationships and improving teamwork will take longer, however, I am committed to ensuring that all of the issues raised are addressed.

“I want to again thank staff for taking part in the review and for showing great professionalism, courage and commitment throughout the review process. I look forward to continuing to work with local staff, managers, clinical leads and staff-side representatives to create a strong, positive working environment.”