AN INCREASE in staffing in the Day Surgery Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is to enable hundreds of extra operations each year.

Seven staff nurses and three clinical support workers have been recruited recently while three additional overnight and 12 extra day case beds are also being introduced as part of a £17million expansion plan with money from the Scottish Government.

The unit currently carries out a wide range of operations including ear, nose and throat, cardiac, ophthalmology, general surgery and orthopaedic procedures.

These include knee operations, tonsillectomies, gall bladder removal, hernia repairs, wisdom tooth removal and pace maker insertions.

The extra day beds and theatre capacity will enable additional orthopaedic procedures to be carried out, including more hip and knee replacements, once the new inpatient ward at Forth Valley Royal Hospital opens next year.

Margaret McLay, senior charge nurse for day surgery, said: “This an exciting time for us.

“We are at the forefront for this type of improvement work and are looking forward to being able to help many more patients.

“Hip and knee replacements in particular are increasing in number as we have an ageing population and we welcome this opportunity to provide quicker access to treatment.”