Staff and bed increase at Larbert’s Forth Valley Royal Hospital enables extra operations

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A boost to staffing in the day surgery Uuit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital will lead to hundreds of extra operations being carried out every year.

Seven staff nurses and three clinical support workers have recently been recruited to the team – a 30 per cent increase in the total staff compliment.

Some of the new team members are experienced surgical nurses while other newly qualified recruits are being supported by existing staff in the unit who are acting as mentors.

Three additional overnight and 12 extra day case beds are also being introduced as part of a major £17 million expansion plan to support the Scottish Government’s National Waiting Times Improvement Plan and Elective Care Centre Programme.

This plan will significantly increase theatre, inpatient and diagnostic capacity at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and enable thousands of extra MRI scans and operations to be carried out each year.

The Day Surgery Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital currently carries out a wide range of operations including ear, nose and throat, cardiac, ophthalmology, general surgery and orthopaedic procedures.

These include knee operations, tonsillectomies, gall bladder removal, hernia repairs, wisdom tooth removal and pace maker insertions.

The extra day beds and theatre capacity will enable additional orthopaedic procedures to be carried out, including more hip and knee replacements, once the new inpatient ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital opens next year.

Margaret McLay, NHS Forth Valley’s senior charge nurse for day surgery, said: “This an exciting time for us. We are at the forefront for this type of improvement work and are looking forward to being able to help many more patients.

“Hip and knee replacements in particular are increasing in number as we have an ageing population and we welcome this opportunity to provide quicker access to treatment.”

The first of two additional operating theatres opened at FVRH back in June and the second is due to open in Spring 2019.

A second state-of-the-art MRI scanner was delivered a month later, providing higher quality images for more complex scans and faster scan times, enabling thousands of additional MRI scans to be carried out every year with scanning taking place 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The new inpatient ward is due to be completed by May 2020 and plans for the new-build facility are progressing well.