A £17 million investment in additional theatre capacity plus a new MRI scanner will help reduce waiting times at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
Two new operating theatres will be opened in the next year to focus on general and orthopaedic surgery, enabling around 1,500 extra joint replacement operations to be carried out annually. The new MRI scanner will deliver around 8,000 additional scans each year.
The additional Scottish Government funding, which forms part of a National Waiting Times Improvement Plan, includes £7 million for capital costs and a recurring £10 million for staffing and supplies. Extra operating lists will run in the hospital’s existing 14 theatres, including extended sessions over weekends, and a new 32 bed ward will be established for patients who need inpatient care fallowing surgery.
NHS Forth Valley will also enter into a partnership with the Golden Jubilee National Hospital to improve the training and recruitment of clinical staff across both sites.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman who visited Forth Valley Royal Hospital to meet staff the day before the Improvement Plan was presented to the Scottish Parliament said: “Whilst investment is important, it’s also vital we improve the way the health and social care system operates. The partnership between NHS Forth Valley and the Golden Jubilee is a good example of the kind of innovative collaboration we want to see across the whole of Scotland.”
NHS Forth Valley Chief Executive, Cathie Cowan, added: “This investment will not only help reduce delays for local patients but also provides an opportunity to develop a unique new partnership with the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. This could include the joint recruitment and training of doctors and nurses who could work across both sites to develop and maintain their skills.
Recruitment is already under way for additional weekend surgery sessions which are due to begin in the next few months. The additional theatres and MRI scanner will be commissioned during 2019.