A&E waiting time targets missed for last 18 months at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert

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Patients attending Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s A&E are not being seen within the Scottish Government waiting time targets.

NHS Forth Valley has been criticised by a local MSP after missing the objective for 18th month in a row.

The latest ISD Scotland statistics reveal that in September 2018, the board saw 91.2 per cent of its A&E patients within four hours. The national standard is 95 per cent.

The last time the board met the target was in March 2017, when 97.2 per cent of patients were seen within the four hour standard.

Alison Harris, Scottish Conservative MSP for Central Scotland, said the statistics were “worrying”.

“It’s hard to see how the numbers are going to improve, because we are now heading into winter which is always a 
challenging period,” she added.

“The staff in NHS Forth Valley work very hard to deliver quality healthcare but the increasing pressure from demand throughout the winter and beyond is making it all the more difficult for them.

“The Scottish Government recently announced a waiting times improvement plan, so I’ll be asking what specific measures there are for addressing NHS Forth Valley’s struggling A&E waiting times performance.”

An NHS Forth Valley spokesperson said: “The majority of patients who attend our Emergency Department are seen and treated within four hours. We have however, experienced some capacity challenges, partly due to a rise in the numbers of patients with more complex health needs, many of whom required to be admitted.

“We are continuing to do everything possible to reduce delays and are currently testing new ways of supporting people presenting with minor injuries at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, through the use of extended nurse practitioners. We are 
also working with the speciality teams to improve patient flow.”

Analysis by the BBC this week revealed that NHS Forth Valley was one of three out of 14 Scottish health boards which had missed all their targets over the past 12 months.

In response to the new findings, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson warned the coming winter was expected to be even more challenging than last year stating that the 
pressure on A&E services and the knock-on impact this is having in other parts of the health and care system, coupled with higher levels of staff vacancies, will put services under significant strain.