MSP calls for probe into long NHS Forth Valley waiting times

As NHS Forth Valley patients continue to endure long waiting times Central Scotland MSP Gillian Mackay is looking for the reasons it is struggling so badly.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 12:20 pm

She stated In the week ending October 17 only 46.9 per cent of people who attended A&E in NHS Forth Valley were seen within four hours – this is compared to a nationwide average of 70.9 per cent.

The MSP added: “A&E departments across Scotland are struggling to meet demand while COVID-19 cases remain high and people come forward with conditions they didn’t previously seek help for due to the pandemic and staffing pressures affect services.

“We must recognise, however, when there are specific pressures which mean some health boards are struggling more than others. The fact NHS Forth Valley continues to have the lowest proportion of people being seen within four hours of any board in Scotland should set alarm bells ringing.

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An MSP is calling for a probe into the reasons for NHS Forth Valley and Forth Valley Royal Hospital's long waiting times.

“We need to know why Forth Valley is being impacted more than other health boards. I’ve previously called for targeted interventions for those boards which are being placed under the most strain and I urge the Scottish Government to work with NHS Forth Valley leaders to establish what specific circumstances are impacting has caused this situation and further support is needed.

"It’s vital that A&E services are properly supported to continue to deliver care in what are extremely challenging conditions.”

NHS Forth Valley responded, stating staff were doing everything possible to reduce the long waiting times, but hospitals in the area, including Forth Valley Royal, remain extremely busy.

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A spokesperson said: “Forth Valley Royal Hospital like many other 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 more seriously ill patients requiring admission to hospital with longer lengths of

stay adding to our capacity challenges.

"Patients with more serious illnesses and injuries continue to be prioritised and many patients will undergo further diagnostic tests and start their treatment while they are waiting in the Emergency Department to be admitted to a ward.

"Staff are doing everything possible to reduce delays and we would like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone who has experienced a longer wait to be

seen at this very challenging time.

“Colleagues in social care are also seeing an increase in referrals which has led to a higher than normal level of patients who are experiencing delays in being discharged which adds to the pressure across the Forth Valley Royal Hospital site.

“Workforce remains a significant challenge and the additional funding from the Scottish Government has enabled us to support a wide range of actions to help increase capacity across our overall health and care system, it is still early to fully realise the benefits of the investment we have made.

“NHS Forth Valley is continuing to provide a wide range of planned operations and outpatient appointments as well as maintaining vital services for those people with a suspected cancer, life threatening or life limiting conditions.”

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