Opinion: Forth Valley Royal Hospital has provided a decade of care for our communities
Hospitals are at the heart of the communities they serve providing care from “cradle to grave” for a grateful population.
Forth Valley Royal Hospital has been a focal point for not just Falkirk but the entire region since it was built, standing as an imposing landmark against the Larbert countryside.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the official opening by HM The Queen, although the building itself had begun accepting patients in a phased programme from the summer of 2010.
However, before we reached the stage of flag-waving crowds and health board staff and officials in their best bib and tucker greeting The Queen and Prince Philip as they toured the impressive building, there had been lengthy debate stretching over almost two decades about not only the location of the 'super hospital’ but also what services it would provide.
Some of the debate took place in the board rooms of both Falkirk & District and Stirling Royal Infirmaries, but it also was in town halls and community centres across Forth Valley as NHS officials outlined their proposals to the public.
Many a long night winter’s night was spent in draughty halls as folk argued why the hospital should be built in their backyard. Those of us who were there still bear the scars!
However, after much discussion and studying of analysis the location on the site of the former Royal Scottish National Hospital at Larbert was chosen.
Even when building work was underway those who doubted the project still argued it would never open.
But it did open and in the subsequent decade has provided both in and outpatient services for thousands of people every year.
Its walls have been a backdrop for births and deaths, joy and tragedy but always with attentive staff there to provide support and care in generous doses.
The last 15 months have probably been the most difficult and unusual for all call FVRH their workplace, as well as for the patients.
But throughout all the troubled days of the pandemic the hospital has continued to operate round the clock for us all.
A hospital may only be a building but it is the people within it who give it a proper purpose.
Happy 10th birthday to all involved at FVRH.