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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).

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.



Telephone disruption at the Knoll Hospital, Duns

Credit: NHS Borders

Telephone lines at the Knoll Hospital in Duns are currently down, with both the hospital and Duns Medical Group Practice affected.

This issue has been reported and NHS Borders is working with BT to resolve this disruption soon as possible.

If you are a patient of the Duns Medical Group and you or someone you care for is unwell during this time , you are advised to please contact the NHS 24 helpline on 111.

If the condition is immediately life threatening, dial 999 for an emergency ambulance.

NHS Borders wins its 2nd CHKS Top 40 Hospitals award

Representatives from NHS Borders at Tuesday night’s annual awards ceremony in London, picking up the award on behalf of the health board Credit: NHS Borders

NHS Borders is one of the CHKS Top Hospitals for second consecutive year.

The accolade has been awarded to the top performing CHKS client trusts over 2015.

It's based on the evaluation of over 20 key performance indicators covering safety, clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency, patient experience and quality of care.

“This is a tremendous and well deserved achievement for NHS Borders. To be highlighted as one the 40 Top trusts and boards in the UK for a second year running is outstanding.”

– John Raine, NHS Borders Chair

The CHKS Top Hospitals programme awards were held in London on 19 May and were attended by over 200 guests, including representatives from NHS Borders.

NHS Borders considers relocation of East/West Brigs ward

Credit: PA

Representatives from NHS Borders have outlined proposals to relocate the East/West Brigs Mental Health Rehabilitation Ward to Crumhaugh House in Hawick.

Currently located on the Galavale site in Galashiels, the ward is a rehabilitation inpatient unit for patients with long-term mental health problems.

In July 2014 a project team was established to look at potential relocation options to improve the quality of care for patients.

Out of four possible locations considered, the ground floor of the currently vacant Crumhaugh House property in Hawick was identified as the preferred location.

In its current location, ward staff are presented with real challenges including patient observation and a lack of therapeutic space, which has an impact on patient recovery times.

“The option to relocate to Crumhaugh House, which was most recently utilised for inpatient care by the Mental Health service whilst Huntlyburn Ward on the BGH site was refurbished, addresses the patient safety issues that we are currently facing, and will provide patients with a high quality, safe, equitable and accessible service.”

– Dr Cliff Sharp, Consultant Psychiatrist and Associate Medical Director for Mental Health at NHS Borders

Crumhaugh House is currently owned by NHS Borders.

It was put on the market in July 2013 but a buyer has not been identified.

Utilising the building for Rehabilitation patients would provide 13 inpatient beds, and relocate 28 employees to Hawick.

The move would require a capital investment of £1.87 million.

The full business case, which will take into account feedback gathered during a public engagement phase, will be presented to the public meeting of NHS Borders Board on August 6th 2015.

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