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NHS Borders 'leading the way' against bowel cancer

NHS Borders Credit: PA

NHS Borders is "leading the way" when it comes to screening people for bowel cancer, according to a local MSP.

The Scottish Borders saw the highest uptake of bowel screening in Scotland for invitations between 1 November 2013 and 31 October 2015.

NHS Borders saw 63.6% overall uptake, compared to Scotland’s overall percentage of 57.5%.

Rachael Hamilton South of Scotland MSP said:

Bowel cancer is obviously serious , the third most common in Scotland and taking 1,600 lives a year. The more we can do together to help tackle bowel cancer the better. Screening is crucial to that aim and I am proud that NHS Borders is at the forefront of screening in Scotland.

– Rachael Hamilton South of Scotland MSP

Safe pregnancy programme in Borders

Credit: PA

Expectant mums attending NHS Borders will be part of a new programme to make their pregnancies safer.

The local health authority has been chosen to be part of a one point five million pound scheme to identify ante-natal risks as early as possible.

The benefits of this will be that the women will have a good and safe assessment of their ante-natal period and they will have a safe pregnancy and a good outcome and a healthy baby at the end of it."

– Gill Lunn, Maternity Patient Safety Champion at NHS Borders

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NHS Borders: Cancelled operations double

Borders General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

NHS Borders have put the high level of cancelled operations in August down to a failure in a specialist ventilation system used in the operating theatre.

Explaining the health board’s commitment to patient safety, Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services said:

I recognise that a cancelled procedure is extremely frustrating for a patient and their family. The safety and clinical needs of our patients will always be considered first.

The failure of the laminar air flow system has had quite an impact on our theatre cancellations this month. Immediate action was taken to fix the problem with this highly specialist piece of equipment, but it did mean that one of the theatres was out of action for four days.

August also saw a high number of emergency admissions requiring surgery, which meant that in nine cases, the emergency procedures took clinical priority.

No one takes a decision to cancel a procedure lightly – it matters too much to our patients - and a dedicated piece of work is underway to improve our performance in this area.”

– Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland and health spokesperson, has said that the SNP Government needs address why NHS Borders is continuing to cancel operations for non-clinical reasons.

The comments came after the numbers released show the percentage of cancelled operations in NHS Borders is higher than the national average.

The latest statistics show that 7.7% of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August, twice that of recent months (3.8% in July and 3.9% in June).

7.7%
of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August.

Mr Hume commented:

Questions need to be asked of the Health Secretary as to why NHS Borders is continually being forced to cancel operations due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, and why there’s now a doubling of cancellations since June.

Clearly the SNP Government isn’t putting enough support where it should be, resulting in staff shortages and added pressure on existing staff. That’s no good for patient health and safety, and it’s no good for staff morale.

A lack of support from the SNP government means our hard working NHS staff are consistently being asked to do more with less, and patients are being made to take the hit through cancelled operations.”

– Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP

Chance for public to question NHS Borders

The annual review takes place at Borders General Hospital. Credit: ITV Border

People in the Scottish Borders can hear and ask questions about the performance of their local NHS Trust today.

The NHS Borders annual review takes place in the Tryst, Chaplaincy Centre, of Borders General Hospital, from 2:30pm to 4pm.

It will be led by the Chair of NHS Borders, Mr John Raine.

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