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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-02005: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 August 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action NHS Fife is taking to support (a) Forth Valley Royal and (b) Victoria Hospital in meeting the target of at least 98% of people waiting no longer than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer for accident and emergency treatment.

Answered by: Shona Robison 9 September 2016

In terms of how NHS Fife is supporting Forth Valley Royal Hospital the Scottish Government does not hold this information centrally.

However, the Scottish Government is working closely with health boards, including NHS Fife and NHS Forth Valley, as part of an improvement approach to ensure improvements are made on a sustainable basis. This approach aims to minimise long waits in A&E and Assessment Units and ensure the whole NHS system works together effectively - beginning from a patient’s first contact with the NHS right through to, if they require admission, their discharge from hospital.

Through the National Unscheduled Care - six Essential Actions Improvement Programme NHS Fife has implemented a number of actions at the Victoria Hospital, which has seen performance at, around or above 95% over the last few months. The board has developed an integrated team of Nurses, allied health professions (AHP’s) (Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists) and Frailty Practitioners (support workers), who share skills to provide a comprehensive assessment of patients screened as frail who attend the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) as well as the acute admissions areas within the acute hospital. It enables the frailty team to gather as much relevant details from the patients and their family/carers on their previous level of function, as well as how they are functioning presently; which in turn aids timely clinical decision making on the best pathway for the patient. This work has supported the continued reduction in the length of time these patients spend in hospital.

NHS Forth Valley has seen some variable performance but often performs at, around or above 95%. The Hospital has also implemented a number of actions to support sustainable improvement against the four hour A&E target. They have recently standardised the emergency referrals process to the acute medical unit, which has led to a reduction in delays for patients attending this unit.