Final services prepare for move to Forth Valley Royal

The hospital is ready to welcome its first A&E patients
The hospital is ready to welcome its first A&E patients

Staff are making the final preparations for the arrival of patients when the third and final phase of Forth Valley Royal Hospital opens next month.

The new emergency department, women and children’s unit and critical care facilities are being kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment ready for the transfer of acute services from Stirling Royal Infirmary.

Moving is scheduled to take place between July 11 and 18.

Accident and emergency services for the entire Forth Valley will switch from Stirling at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12. This is when the minor injuries and out-of-hours-doctor service will also transfer to the new facility from Falkirk Community Hospital.

Surveying the final building handed over by developers Laing O’Rourke, Ian Mullen, NHS Forth Valley’s chairman, said: “It has been an amazing adventure to be involved in the creation of the new healthcare strategy for Forth Valley and the development of this new hospital.

“In many ways it is unique in Scottish health services with its design concept of a hospital ‘main street’ with all the wards and departments off from that with its 16 central courtyards.

“It has been a huge achievement to get to this point and soon we will be waiting for patients to arrive at this final phase. I feel very privileged to have been part of this and it is particularly pleasing to be part of the team finally delivering this hospital.”

The emergency department is larger and more spacious than either of the A&E units it is replacing. There are different treatment areas for major and minor conditions and a resuscitation facility with its own separate entrance for patients arriving by ambulance requiring immediate critical or emergency trauma care.

Youngsters will be seen in children-friendly treatment bays and will also have their own waiting area.

The women and children’s unit has been designed so that treatment is as seamless as possible with patients receiving every stage of their care on the same floor, rather than being moved around the hospital.

The labour suite has an additional birth pool, a changing room for partners close to theatres and en-suite delivery rooms where many mums will stay until they go home and a separate larger delivery room for multiple births.

Parents and staff will discover that the new neonatal suite with 21 cots is lighter and brighter than existing facilities, providing a better environment. There are also two overnight rooms where parents can stay while their baby is treated or in preparation for taking baby home.

The brightly decorated children’s ward has 25 beds and even has an outdoor play area, as well as a classroom for education, activities and play therapy.

Seriously ill patients will be treated in a new 19-bed unit which will provide both high dependency and intensive treatment. All the bed areas are more spacious, allowing medical and nursing staff room to use an array of highly complex equipment in each bay.

Health board chief executive Professor Fiona Mackenzie said: “When patients are admitted to hospital they deserve the best treatment available, services that are focused on their needs and provided in an appropriate environment. I believe we have achieved all these aspirations in these superb new facilities.

“The completion of this final phase may mark the end of the journey in the construction of the new hospital but heralds the beginning of a new era in the way we deliver healthcare.”