NHS Fife staff have been praised and thanked for their efforts in helping services relocate ‘extremely smoothly’ to the new wing of Victoria Hospital.
John Wilson, chief executive of NHS Fife, told members of the operational division committee the transfer of services over the past month or so had gone well.
He told the committee yesterday (Wednesday): “I must express a great depth of gratitude to all of our staff, not just for the management of day to day activity, but the huge exercise of moving.
“We started in November and moved some services already within the Victoria Hospital.
“It was relatively straight forward as it was still within the hospital.
“That went well and we did learn lessons from the way that move took place, which were useful when we went to make further moves.
“Operationally and logistically things, even with the best planning, could have been done better and it allowed us to change the way we did things when it came to Forth Park’s turn.
“I think it’s fair to say the logistics were difficult at times, stressful to staff and also to patients.
“There are things we could have done better and we acknowledge that, but with the numbers of people moved and cared for in that period the number of issues were few, although they were important to the individuals.”
Mr Wilson said the transfer of maternity services from Forth Park to the new wing saw obstetrics operating on both sites at the same time on January 9 to ensure a smooth transition.
He added: “ It’s been a huge effort for a lot of people, hardly anyone on the team has not been affected.
“I think given the complexity and size of what we were doing I’m satisfied it’s gone smoothly.
“A lot of planning has gone into it and we have learned from early moves which let us do things differently and better.
“Going around the wards, people are pleased with the new wards, are getting settled in and getting themselves into a new routine.
“It just takes a little time for that to settle down.”
The £170 million new wing opened its doors to patients on December 19 and the move - described as the ‘biggest logistical exercise ever in the history of NHS Fife’ - has been taking place in stages ever since.
Mr Wilson’s thanks to all the staff was echoed around the room throughout the meeting.
David Stewart, chairman, said: “I’d like to congratulate and thank all the staff.
“No one stood on ceremony, if there was a job to be done, they just got on and done it.
“Everyone did their level best under what were at times extremely difficult conditions.
“It’s the equivalent of moving house, but with 40 ill people and then, oh by the way, pick up another 30 on the way.
‘‘On the whole I think it went smoothly.”
Caroline Inwood, director of nursing, said: “We should be congratulating our staff.
“Not only were they having to look after patients but they were packing boxes and unpacking boxes, making sure everything has gone off as smoothly as possible.”
The committee also expressed its thanks to partner organisations, including the Red Cross, Scottish Ambulance Service and the teams which helped during the transition process.