Patients put Lochgelly bottom in regional satisfaction survey

A Lochgelly practice came bottom in patient survey
A Lochgelly practice came bottom in patient survey

A community campaigner has launched a petition after Lochgelly Health Centre came bottom for patient satisfaction across Fife and Tayside.

Figures for 122 GP practices across the region, compiled by the Scottish Government, also showed other central Fife surgeries low in the league table for telephone access and GP availability.

James Glen, campaigner, said: “We’ve known for ages we haven’t got enough doctors in Lochgelly. But it was still a shock to see Lochgelly Health Centre rated the lowest for patient satisfaction (at 31.3 per cent) for the whole of Fife and Tayside.

“And it’s not a problem confined to Lochgelly: surgeries in Crossgates, Cowdenbeath and Benarty also did very badly.”

He said deprived areas suffered a ‘double whammy’.

“If you live somewhere like Lochgelly, you’re not just more likely to suffer from poor health, you’ll also have a much harder job getting treated by your GP,” he commented.

The petition, addressed to health secretary Shona Robison, NHS Fife and Fife Council calls for emergency staff to be brought in.

Mr Glen commented: “The obvious thing to do is to send in locum GPs and other health personnel, using temporary accommodation if necessary, until permanent and sustainable primary care at an acceptable level has been introduced.”

However, the Press understands there was a full complement of GPs at Lochgelly Health Centre and there were no plans for recruitment.

NHS Fife acknowledged, however, there were issues concerning patient access to GPs and Fife Health and Social Partnership will be working with the surgery to address this.

The petition is available online at change.org and paper copies have been distributed among local shops.

Angela McWilliams from Lochgelly posted a week ago: “Trying to get an appointment is an absolute joke here.

“I phoned Lochgelly Medical Centre for my daughter who was in agony with her stomach only to be told the only available appointment was on July 8!”