Decision on out of hours service in St Andrews delayed again

St Andrews Community Hospital
St Andrews Community Hospital

A decision on the future of the out of hours GP service in St Andrews has been delayed again.

The Integration Joint Board (IJB) was due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the service, however, this was cancelled as Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is still not in a position to take proposals to the board.

It is now expected that a decision will be made at the next meeting, on June 21.

The decision was originally due to be made in late April, however, this was also delayed.

“The longer this decision takes, the greater the risk for patients in north east Fife,” said MSP Willie Rennie. “Local people are getting increasingly exasperated with these additional delays.

“We have worked hard with the staff at the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership to develop a workable new service for north east Fife. It is a smart, sustainable scheme and we are ready to go.

“The new service will mean that only in exceptional circumstances would patients need to travel to Kirkcaldy.”

The MSP added: “That would be good news for local people if only we were allowed to proceed.

“It’s taken a long time to get this point and it is frustrating that another delay means we need to wait even longer.

“It would be an extraordinary position if the participation process was to lead to a poorer service for longer for local people.

“That surely is not the purpose of this law.

“The 6500 who signed my petition and the 2000 who filled in a postcard will be expecting the decision to be made without any further delay at the end of June.”

Michael Kellet, director of Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “We continue to engage with Glenrothes Area Residents Federation and St Andrews Community Council through the participation requests process.

“This process requires to be completed before the proposal can be taken to the IJB.”

Mr Kellet added: “It is essential that all this information and feedback is available to allow the IJB members to make a fully informed decision on the way forward – our plan is that this decision will be taken at the board meeting on June 21.”