Forth Valley Royal patients being put in treatment room due to lack of beds on wards

Health bosses at Forth Valley Royal Hospital are being forced to place patient in ward treatment rooms to cope with the rising demand for beds.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 12:30 pm

Although the move is seen as a last resort, NHS Forth Valley accept that increasing numbers of very sick patients being admitted have forced their actions.

But one patient said she was unhappy at being moved to three different wards in as many days, finally ending up in what she called a “cupboard”.

Iona Macaulay, 73, was admitted by ambulance from her home in Carmuirs Avenue, Camelon to the Larbert hospital on Friday, August 13 after her health deteriorated.

Forth Valley Royal Hospital

She suffers from the lung condition COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and a concerned neighbour had called out paramedics.

The mother-of-two was initially treated in Ward B12 but was then moved to neighbouring Ward B11 last Friday then around midnight on Saturday was taken to A11.

She said: “My bed was put in a treatment room that was also used to store equipment so staff were constantly coming in and out to get things.

"I can’t blame the staff, they were only doing their job, but it’s an absolutely shocking way to treat people who are sick.

"There’s serious problems in this hospital if they don’t have enough room for everyone who needs it.”

Iona, a retired clerkess, said staff told her they were unhappy about having to move patients around and said it affected continuity of care.

"People are being moved about like pieces of furniture,” she added.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said the hospital had been “very busy” recently with “a significant increase in the number of seriously ill patients who require to be admitted to hospital for treatment”.

She added: “To help increase capacity we have opened additional contingency beds in a number of areas across the hospital. This includes converting treatment rooms within inpatient wards so that they can be used for short periods of time to accommodate patients who are preparing to be discharged.

“Staff do everything possible to avoid having to move patients but sometimes this is necessary, especially during very busy periods. Any patients who are moved continue to be under the care of the same consultant and receive the same agreed care and treatment plan.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience experienced due to internal ward moves and would encourage patients who have any questions or concerns to speak to the nurse in charge of the ward or contact our Patient Relations Team to provide feedback.”

She added that frequently used clinical supplies normally held in treatment rooms are relocated to other parts of the ward to reduce interruptions.

Meanwhile, new statistics show that NHS Forth Valley was once again the worst-performing health board for A&E waiting times.

The Scottish Government’s target is for 95 per cent of patients to wait no longer than four hours, although this has not been met since July 2020.

In FVRH only 65.6 per cent of the 1167 patients were seen within four hours – down from 74.7 per cent the previous week.

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