BOSSES at Victoria Hospital have revealed the hospital’s A&E department will be closing overnight for serious injuries at the end of the month.
The move, which will see full accident and emergency services moved to Queen Margaret during the night, will take place in just 11 days, on February 28.
As part of a number of measures to “ensure safety and stability” of services until the new Victoria Hospital wing opens, A&E in Kirkcaldy will become an out-of-hours Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m..
More serious emergencies will go to Dunfermline.
During the day normal A&E services will resume at Victoria, while bosses insisted that most patients from the area can be treated at the MIU.
Doctor Gordon Birnie, medical director of the operational division, said: “This is an important step in the reconfiguration of our services as we prepare for the move of acute services into Victoria Hospital and the establishment of the diagnostic and treatment centre at Queen Margaret Hospital in early 2012.
“By basing out-of-hours emergency medicine at Queen Margaret from the end of February until the new wing opens, we can ensure the stability of services.
‘‘It also allows new patterns of working to develop prior to the moves next year.”
Dr Birnie added that adults and children aged over one can attend the MIU.
Children under one who are unwell should be taken to the A&E department at Dunfermline during the night.
The move comes after staff shortages meant A&E services at Victoria had to be moved to Dunfermline on several occasions last year.
The new strategy will ultimately see a single accident and emergency department based at the new wing.
The MIU will treat a range of injuries including broken bones, minor head and neck injuries, cuts and grazes, minor burns and scalds and infected wounds.
Dr Birnie continued: “For any other conditions, you can get advice from NHS 24 on 08454 242424.
‘‘If an emergency occurs overnight, where the person shows symptoms of serious illness or is badly injured, you should phone 999 or go directly to the A&E department at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.”