EFFORTS to address ongoing issues at NHS Forth Valley are said to have led to "improvements in performance across a number of services", according to health chiefs.

An improvement plan has been in place since December to drive forward a wide range of changes across the organisation and the NHS Forth Valley Board recently heard an update on the progress made.

As reported previously, the health board was moved to Stage 4 on the NHS Scotland Performance Escalation Framework at the end of November, 2022, with an assurance board bringing direct formal oversight and engagement from the Scottish Government.

The executive leadership team is to deliver performance improvements in a number of areas including GP care out of hours services, unscheduled care and CAMHS while overall strengthening leadership, governance and culture.

Actions have been centred on three key principles of putting patients first, supporting staff and working in partnership.

Cathie Cowan, chief executive at NHS Forth Valley, said: “Good progress has been made over the last two months across a number of areas.

“This includes the introduction of care and comforts rounds in our Emergency Department and acute assessment units and a significant reduction in the number of contingency beds in use across our local hospitals.

“There have also been improvements in performance across a number of services; however, we recognise that there is still much more to do and we remain committed to making the changes necessary to improve the experience of our patients and staff.

“I would like to thank staff, colleagues in primary care and partners for their ongoing commitment to delivering high quality care and services, despite the many challenges facing our health and care system.”

According to documents for the board's January 31 meeting, there has been a “small and sustainable improvement” in the four hour Emergency Access Standard.

Figures say 48.1 per cent of patients were seen in the Emergency Department within four hours in January, up from 42.1 per cent in December.

This came despite “particularly challenging service pressures in early January 2023, including high hospital inpatient and intensive care occupancy rates, higher than normal staff sickness and delayed discharge rates”.

The national target is for 95 per cent of patients to wait no longer than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer for treatment.

The board's Escalation Improvement Plan will continue to develop and evolve, informed by feedback fro patients, staff and partners.

The Public Participation Group will help focus that work over the next three months.

An initial meeting has been arranged for Tuesday, February 21, from 6pm at the hospital's Spiritual Care Centre.

Email fv.fvquality@nhs.scot to attend.