Glenrothes Hospital Out-of-Hours Centre: NHS Fife are accused of bias

Lindsey Roy MP and Tricia Marwick MSP at the Glenrothes Hospital.Pic: George McLuskie
Lindsey Roy MP and Tricia Marwick MSP at the Glenrothes Hospital.Pic: George McLuskie

NHS Fife bosses have been accused of building a case around their desire to close Glenrothes Hospital’s out-of-hours GP service.

Furthermore, politicians fighting the closure proposals claimed they ignored a number of chances to scrap the controversial proposals despite the clear public desire for them to do so.

Local MSP Tricia Marwick, along with MP Lindsay Roy told the Gazette that they had a number of private meetings advising senior health managers that their plan to transfer the service to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy was “flawed and biased”.

Mrs Marwick said there had been overwhelming support throughout Glenrothes for the service to be retained.

“In the face of such opposition, NHS Fife should have taken the advice and many opportunities that Lindsay and I offered to them in private meetings to withdraw this flawed and biased proposal.

“The fact they did not has now led to the decision whereby NHS Fife officials found their proposal defeated,” said the MSP.

Mr Roy added: “It was clear that some officials had already decided that Glenrothes out of hours service was going to be transferred to Kirkcaldy and then set about to build a case to support closure.  

“They tried to limit consultation by not initially informing either the elected MP or MSP and claiming it was a minor change, but they then had to concede it was a major change.

“The proposal could not stand up to examination even though selective statistics, scare stories about clinical safety and claims that the service was not fit for purpose were being put forward at public meetings. Very quickly, all of these arguments were discredited.”

The pair have stressed the need to take on board the wishes of those affected by such proposals.

“There are many lessons for NHS Fife to learn from this whole episode about consultation, on presenting facts and listening to communities,” said Mrs Marwick.

“They should take on board that the NHS is there to meet the needs of the communities it serves, not for the convenience of clinicians and managers.”