50 inpatient beds added to Forth Valley Royal Hospital after poor A&E waiting times

Extra inpatient beds have been introduced at Forth Valley Royal Hospital after the local health board posted one of its worst A&E waiting times performances.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Of the 1239 people who attended the facility’s accident and emergency department in the week ending September 26, just 57.5 per cent were seen within the Scottish Government’s four-hour standard, when the target is 95 per cent.

Sixteen patients waited over 12 hours at FVRH’s A&E that week.

Forth Valley’s A&E waiting times performances have remained below the national average since the start of August, which emerged as the worst month on record for waiting times in Scotland.

NHS Forth Valley has asked the public only to attend Forth Valley Royal Hospital's A&E department if necessary. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Public Health Scotland statistics show just 77.8 per cent of those who attended A&E were seen within the four-hour target.

The figure has been on a downward trend in recent months, dropping from 88.7 per cent in April.

In August, 1410 people spent more than 12 hours in A&E without being seen and either admitted to hospital or discharged, while 5460 were there for eight hours or more.

An NHS Forth Valley spokeswoman said: “Forth Valley Royal Hospital, like many hospitals across Scotland, is exceptionally busy and we have seen high numbers of attendances at our Emergency Department over the last few weeks and many seriously ill patients who require to be admitted for treatment.

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“As a result, some patients may have to wait for longer than usual until a suitable inpatient bed becomes available. Staff are doing everything possible to reduce delays and patients with more serious illnesses and injuries who require urgent care continue to be prioritised.

“Many patients will also undergo further diagnostic tests and start their treatment while they are waiting in the Emergency Department to be admitted.

“A number of actions have been taken to help increase capacity across local health and care services, including opening more than 50 additional inpatient beds.

“We continue to work closely with our partners to help reduce delays for many patients who are ready to leave to hospital but are unable to be discharged as they require either a package of care at home or to be transferred to a local care home.

“Local people can also help by not attending the Emergency Department if they have a minor injury or illness and instead call NHS 24 on 111 first for advice, day or night.

“They can arrange a consultation with a local healthcare professional who can organise a priority appointment at our Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Care Centre so that you don’t need to wait to be seen if you need to attend hospital.”

A government spokeswoman said: “Our NHS staff have faced unprecedented pressures over recent weeks as they work tirelessly and consistently to respond to the pandemic whilst continuing to provide vital treatment and optimal patient care.

“As part of the NHS Recovery Plan we have committed £27 million towards the Redesign of Urgent Care to ensure people receive the right care, at the right place.

“To minimise pressures, we have committed £12m additional funding to health boards across Scotland to support non-Covid emergency care.

“We have also provided £80m to boards to this financial year support their elective activity and specifically target the backlog of care including appointments, diagnostic testing and surgery, as part of the broader mobilisation of out NHS.”

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