NHS Fife has secured funding for two extra advanced nurse practitioners to support its orthopaedic surgery team at the Victoria Hospital.
In addition to assisting with hip and knee surgeries, the ANPs support orthopaedic services in a variety of ways, taking on many responsibilities previously performed by a doctor.
There are currently two orthopaedic ANPs who are trained to carry out various duties including the prescription of medicines, post-operative care, request of further tests and patient discharge.
The cost of creating the two posts is £116,184, which will be funded by the Scottish Government.
Once they arrive in the coming weeks, the service will expand from six days a week to seven.
The ANPs will also support trauma wards, junior doctors and emergency department, aiming to improve patients’ experiences, improve patient flow and reduce the length of stay.
The funding is a further boost for Fife’s orthopaedic surgery team, which has been recognised as one of the most effective and efficient in Scotland.
Last month, two visiting surgeons from England, Abdul Waheed and John Targett, gained first hand experience of Fife’s successes.
Last year director of surgery and consultant orthopaedic surgeon Ed Dunstan and his team became one of the first health boards in Scotland to successfully perform five hip replacements in one day.
They have regularly replicated this.
Mr Dunstan said the additional ANPs will build on an already strong service.
“Our team prides itself upon making the most of its resources to give patients the best possible experience.
“There has been national interest in our success and the way we are doing things in Fife and this not only serves as a great source of pride for myself and the team, but also gives our patients confidence that they are in excellent hands.
“We are proud, in Fife, to have many members of nursing staff who have been appropriately trained and supported to take on extended roles that would have traditionally been carried out by doctors.”