On-the-spot testing for flu, extending outpatient antibiotic therapy and increasing specialist nursing in the community are among some of the additional measures being put in place to help ease pressures in NHS Forth Valley this winter.
Extra support is also being provided to help avoid hospital admissions and ensure those who do require inpatient care are able to return home more quickly.
Arrangements to test patients who arrive at hospital for flu are being put in place so that they can be treated more effectively, either at home or in hospital, with appropriate measures to help reduce the spread of infection to others.
Andrea Fyfe, director of Acute Services, NHS Forth Valley, who chairs the winter steering group, said: “Winter is the busiest time of year for the NHS and is it vital we have plans in place to cope with the increase in demand. We are also appealing to local people to avoid putting pressure on the Emergency Department by making use of other local health services for minor illnesses and injuries. And it is not too late for anyone eligible for a free flu jab to take up the offer.”
Winter health information and advice can be found on the Winter Zone of the NHS Forth Valley website www.nhsforthvalley.com/winter