Getting well on the move

Councillors David Graham and Jim Young with staff at the Well on Wheels bus in Methil
Councillors David Graham and Jim Young with staff at the Well on Wheels bus in Methil

People in Levenmouth will soon be able to board the bus and get some health advice after a innovative scheme was given the go-ahead by councillors.

The ‘Well on Wheels’ bus will be stopping across the region in the coming weeks thanks to funding worth over £16,000.

It follows a successful pilot scheme in Kirkcaldy which was tested in 2013.

The Well on Wheels bus allows NHS nurses to work within the heart of communities while providing locals with the chance to drop in, at their convenience, and access help and health advice.

The need for the service is demonstated in recent figures which reveal health in Levenmouth to be significantly worse than in the rest of Fife.

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2009 showed that Levenmouth appears to have persistent pockets of multiple deprivation.

In 2011/12, hospital admissions for coronary heart disease in the area were 370 compared with an average of 337 in the rest of Fife, while admissions for alcohol related diagnosis were 695 compared to a Fife average of 517.

The new scheme was warmly welcomed by local councillors.

“I really welcome this report and it’s definitely one bus which is overdue,” said Cllr John O’Brien.

He added: “The one thing I would like to see is the time increased from 15 hours per week to full time. I think we need to push this to let people know that the help is out there.”

Cllr Andrew Rodger, executive health spokesman, said: “I have really been pushing for this and it’s an excellent investment.

“This bus is going to tackle people who might be scared to go and see their GP or might live chaotic lives - they can see this and just hop on.”

Cllr David Graham, vice chairman of the area committee, said: “The area committee has shown excellent commitment for this service through the decision. I popped along to see what service was being provided and was very impressed by what I saw. We really need to look after our health and wellbeing and this gives an excellent opportunity for locals to do just that. I would encourage all members of the public to pop along as the staff involved provide a first class service and give excellent advice to all who attend. An excellent facility for our local communities.”