Forth Valley health care crisis

The ‘alarming” figures on waiting times for Accident and Emergncy in NHS Forth Valley have prompted calls for the Scottish Government to step in and provide more support.

By Kirsty Paterson, LDR
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 3:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 3:55 pm
Green List MSP Gillian McKay has called on the Scottish Government to step in and help NHS Forth Valley. PIC LISA FERGUSON.
Green List MSP Gillian McKay has called on the Scottish Government to step in and help NHS Forth Valley. PIC LISA FERGUSON.

Central Scotland List MSP Gillian McKay was responding to figures showing that A&E waiting times are still longer in Forth Valley than any other health board area.

Weekly figures from Public Health Scotland show that just 57.1 per cent of people were seen to within the target of four hours in Forth Valley, compared to the 74.4 per cent national average.

Ms McKay (Greens) said: “These alarming figures clearly show the extreme pressure NHS Forth Valley is under. All A&E departments are struggling to meet demand but it’s very concerning to see that Forth Valley is performing so much worse than other boards.

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“Staff are working extremely hard to deliver care in very difficult conditions and I know that action is being taken by the board management to to try and address pressure on services but clearly there are particular challenges facing Forth Valley which require targeted interventions from the government.

“I urge Scottish Ministers to engage with the health board to determine what these challenges are and what further support they can provide.”

The hospital’s emergency department recently came under intense scrutiny when staff took complaints about a culture of bullying to chief executive Cathie Cowan. The review Ms Cowan ordered painted a damning picture of the department and emergency measures have been put in place in response to the concerns.

Ms McKay’s comments came as the local NHS board announced a series of measures it is using to alleviate the crisis situation across Forth Valley as a whole.

These include: opening more than 50 additional inpatient beds and treatment areas (including additional beds in Forth Valley Royal Hospital, local community hospitals and social care facilities; recruiting more than 100 nurses, including 80 for Forth Valley Royal Hospital, to fill vacancies and invest in a number of new nursing posts; and expanding Day Surgery to enable more operations to be carried out.