Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford is to meet with the Chief Executive of Forth Valley NHS this week to discuss the pressures faced by the health service over the festive period.
A&E service delivery times across the country were affected over December – and a doubling of the number of flu cases has been cited as the main cause.
Whilst additional resources were made available to A&E departments to combat the winter season, the percentage of patients who were seen within four hours at Forth Valley Royal Hospital fell from 94.6% at the end of November to 57.3% at the end of December.
The four-hour ‘waiting time’ includes patients being registered, triaged, seen by a doctor or nurse, investigated (through bloods / x-rays), diagnosed, and either treated and discharged or admitted to another ward.
Commenting, Mr Crawford said:
“Cold winter months bring annual challenges to our health service and the Scottish Government has committed £22.4 million in resilience funding to A&E departments across the country to better enable the dedicated NHS doctors, nurses and staff to deliver a high quality and efficient service through the winter months.
“The big issue this year appears to be the significant spike in cases of flu – with a reported doubling of the number of cases at the end of 2017 compared to the same period in the previous year. This has undoubtedly brought about real strain on A&E departments.
“It will take some time for services across the country to recover, however it is important that I hold this meeting with Forth Valley Health Board in order to better understand the specific challenges and assess what additional support is needed.
“I would also like to take this time to express my gratitude to everyone who worked tirelessly to deliver a high quality health service over the festive period. It is this dedication that makes Scotland’s health service the best performing in the UK.”