NHS Borders are investing over £1 million in a bid to treat more patients than ever following an increase in the number of operations last year
The health board will spend £1.46 million recruiting 17 new consultants, nurses and other clinical support staff in urology, radiology, orthopaedics, neurology and anaesthetics.
Over £67 million will be invested nationwide in 2013/14 in increasing theatre capacity and recruiting around 420 more members of staff across all departments.
Dr Nigel Leary consultant anaesthetist and clinical lead for planned care services in NHS Borders, said the health board’s figure of £1.46 million was a mixture of short and long term investment as it systematically reviews all of its services “to ensure we continue to deliver safe, high quality and person centred services.”
He added: “To date investments have been made across a number of clinical specialities including urology, radiology and orthopaedics and across a range of clinical and support staff including doctors, allied health professionals (for example radiographers and physiotherapists) and administrative support.”
News of the spending came shortly after figures revealed that NHS Scotland hospitals treated almost 910,000 routine inpatient and day case patients in 2012/13.
Details of the investment also arrive in the same week that NHS Borders announced the date and location of its annual review meeting, which members of the public are invited to.
The meeting, due to take place at Borders College’s Galashiels campus on Thursday, August 22, will offer the health board the opportunity to promote its achievements in four key performance areas: the number of cardiovascular health checks carried out, which is 123 per cent of the target; child health weight interventions which have over achieved the target completion rate; successful delivery by the smoking cessation service of their HEAT target of successful quits (882 against a target of 560) and consistent achievement of cancer waiting times.
Overall waiting times for patients in the NHS Borders area have also improved in recent years.
However, there are also areas where there is room for improvement and where goals need to be set and NHS Borders chair John Raine said that was why public engagement was so important.
He commented: “The board is responsible for providing health care services to protect and improve the health of the people of the Borders and plan services for the local population.
“ We are committed to forging effective links with all partners, such as patients, staff, local communities and disadvantaged groups, so their needs and views are placed at the heart of the design and delivery of local health services.”