Decision on out of hours service delayed

St Andrews Hospital.
St Andrews Hospital.

A long-awaited decision on the future of the out of hours service in St Andrews, due to have been made today (Friday), has been delayed again.

The next meeting of the Integrated Joint Board (IJB) will be postponed for at least a month, delaying the decision on the GP out of hours service until late May.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said the decision had been taken because the engagement process with local communities has taken longer than expected.

Michael Kellet, director of Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “We have made significant progress on the additional work required on the out of hours element of the Joining Up Care proposal. There is still a bit more to do in terms of engaging with communities and we will do this as quickly as possible.

“It is essential that we have all this information and feedback available to allow the IJB members to make an informed decision on the way forward.”

Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife, expressed frustration that the decision on the out of hours service in St Andrews had been delayed.

“This delay is frustrating as it means it will be even longer before we can get a positive outcome for the GP out of hours service in north east Fife,” he said.

“However, it is important that the officers and the board get the consultation and participation right so that the decision is robust and can last.

“It is positive that Michael Kellet has confirmed that significant progress has been made on the north east Fife solution. That is good news.

“I would urge the Partnership to ensure that there is no further delay so we can have a positive outcome for St Andrews before summer. A swift implementation could then follow to deliver a full time service back to north east Fife.”