WORK is currently being carried out to free up capacity across NHS Forth Valley as the health board gears up for a challenging winter.

The health board announced that there will be intensive and coordinated efforts to support more people at home or in local care homes.

A key change will be increasing the capacity of NHS Forth Valley’s Hospital at Home team which provides medical care to people in their own homes.

These measures are being introduced in an effort to prevent patients being delayed at local hospitals or going into hospital for treatment.

Jim Cannon, interim director of acute services at NHS Forth Valley, said: “This is really important as we head into the winter period when we know local services will face even greater demands.

“The work being taken forward is a real team effort led by staff and colleagues working across local hospital, community, social care and primary care services.

“We also want to ensure that these intensive efforts don’t just make a difference in the short-term but are also maintained to delivery longer-term sustainable developments which we can build on in the months ahead.”

NHS Forth Valley are also encouraging residents to make use of the right services when they are unwell or need health advice.

These include the NHS Inform website, local pharmacies, opticians, GP practice teams and NHS 24 on 111 for minor injuries.

In case of an emergency, residents are always encouraged to call 999 immediately. For more info, visit