THE University of Dundee has been urged to re-think plans to cut back on nursing courses at its Kirkcaldy campus.
Gordon Brown MP wants uni bosses to base ALL their mental health training here rather than switching them to Dundee.
His proposal came after a meeting in Dundee with Professor Pete Downes, university principal, on Monday.
It followed the news the University of Dundee
nCONTINUED PAGE 5
is carrying out a review after a drop in student numbers - meaning it may no longer be viable to run the mental health course in both Fife and Dundee.
Mr Brown urged him to consider closer co-operation with Adam Smith College and Abertay University to avert cuts.
The MP said: “One option of the plan to be considered next week by Dundee University’s governing body is to take all mental health nurse training from Kirkcaldy and concentrate it in Dundee.
“I have asked them to give more consideration to another option - to concentrate all mental health nurse training in Kirkcaldy.
‘‘I believe many of the overheads here are much lower and more cost effective.
“I have also asked them to consider how the Kirkcaldy site can become a bigger focus for nursing health and social work training.
“NHS Fife needs trained nurses and local people who want a career in nursing should be trained in Fife if they so wish.
“It makes sense to give local people the opportunity to choose nursing, it also makes sense that NHS Fife is able to recruit locally - so it makes sense to retain these facilities here in Fife.
“I believe that if we look at the nursing training done at Adam Smith College with Abertay University, as well as that provided by Dundee University at its Kirkcaldy campus, then together we might find better ways of using the Kirkcaldy campus to best effect.”
A spokesman for the University of Dundee told the Press last month that a ‘significant reduction’ in student numbers proposed by the Scottish Government and changes in teaching capacity in mental health had resulted in an option appraisal being carried out.
He said numbers had dropped from 112 students on the programme in 2005 to around 50 per year, with 20 being recruited to Kirkcaldy.
Mr Brown added: “Labour in government extended nursing training and it is disappointing to see the cut back.
“I am determined that the voice of Fife in this debate is not silenced but herad in every place where decisions are being made.”