On the move

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A MAJOR operation’s underway at the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital - but not of the surgical kind.

It’s just over four weeks until the third and final tranche of services and departments open up to patients and staff at the £300m state-of-the-art facility in Larbert.

D-Day is Tuesday, July 12, at 8am, when the new emergency department, covering Bo’ness, Blackness and Whitecross, replaces accident and emergency at Stirling Royal Infirmary.

On the same day, the labour suites will also start welcoming expectant mums.

Throughout the week of July 11-18 the move will be completed, with children’s services, cardiology and critical care also transferring.

With the buildings all finished, NHS Forth Valley bosses are now in the middle of a 12-week process of moving in equipment and holding induction sessions for 1400 staff.

Design features maximise natural light where possible, for its therapeutic benefits, and there’s increased space around beds and cots.

Patients there can be x-rayed on their trolleys, avoiding the need to move, in keeping with a general approach of making care delivery as integrated and streamlined as possible. Labour and neo-natal are on the same floor for example, making it easier for new mums to visit their babies.

Staff, patients and the public had input into the design principles.

Health board chairman Ian Mullen said: “The completion of this third and final phase is the last milestone in our plans to revolutionise the way we deliver acute care for the population of Forth Valley. I am delighted that these important new facilities have been completed on time and on budget.”

nMinor injuries and GP out-of-hours service also moves from Falkirk Community Hospital to Forth Valley Royal on July 12.

nThe purpose-built emergency department has its own entrance, to the left-hand side of the hospital building.