Forth Valley Health Board approves ambitious plans for recovery, innovation and improvement

NHS Forth Valley’s chief executive, Cathie Cowan, has set out ambitious plans to support service recovery, innovation and improvement over the next three years.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 1:00 pm
Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive

The plans, which were approved at a meeting of the NHS Board on May 25, form part of the health board’s wider vision to reduce waiting times and deliver better outcomes for patients.

Collectively, they will lead to investment in community services, stroke services, outpatient clinics and theatre sessions to help tackle the backlog of non-urgent operations and appointments which has built up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cathie Cowan, NHS Forth Valley’s Chief Executive, said: “These exciting and ambitious plans will not only help us recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but will also support the development of more sustainable services.

“This will ensure we are able to keep pace with future demand and improve health outcomes by ensuring local patients can access support and treatment at an early stage.

"Investing in community-based services like Hospital at Home will also help prevent hospital admissions and reduce pressure on local GP and Emergency Department services.”

NHS Forth Valley’s board members welcomed the wider vision to develop more sustainable local healthcare services and unanimously supported the proposals to reduce waiting times, deliver better outcomes and invest in the health workforce across primary, community and hospital services.

Dr Sara Else, associate medical director for Scheduled Care, NHS Forth Valley, said : “Even before the pandemic, like many areas across Scotland, we were experiencing capacity issues in a number of specialities including orthopaedics, urology and gastroenterology.

"This, coupled with the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing rise in demand, would have led to increasingly longer waits for patients if we did not take action to address it.

“We looked at what we needed to do, not just to tackle the backlog, but to create more sustainable services for the future by increasing capacity, developing new and more innovative ways of delivering services, upskilling existing staff and recruiting a number of additional staff.”