Fife health boss quits to take up Brexit role

Michael Kellet, director of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership
Michael Kellet, director of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership

The man who led the controversial shake-up of out of hours GP services across Fife has resigned from his post – just days after the process finally reached its conclusion.

Michael Kellet is quitting as head of Fife health and social care partnership to take up a new role around Brexit and the constitution with the Scottish Government.

The move marks a return to Government administration.#

Mr Kellet previously worked as director of healthcare strategy with the Scottish Government. He also had roles on the teacher workforce and was head of emergencies for Scottish Government.

As the head of Fife’s healthcare services, he led the controversial plan to close out of hours services in Glenrothes, Dunfermline and St Andrews, and focsussing cover at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy in a bid to get the most out of limited staff resources.

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That sparked a huger backlash in each town, and a final decision was delayed three times until last week’s board meeting decided to retain full provision in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline, give St Andrews limited cover, and remove the service entirely from Glenrothes.

He also oversaw the board’s bid to work round a £23.6 million financial black hole, as well as a redesign of primary care and community services.

North East Fife Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie said: “He deserves our appreciation” but added: “I’m not sure he’ll find handling Brexit any easier than health and social care in Fife – I’m sure everybody will wish him well and hope he is successful in his new role.”

Mr Kellet said he was proud of the progress made by the partnership since its inception in 2015, and commended staff for their hard work in providing “high quality, vital services”.

“We’ve developed and invested in new models of care supporting people to live well at home,” he said.

“We’ve prioritised working in local areas with communities and with the voluntary sector to develop a preventative approach to support the needs of local communities and to tackle the inequalities that are still too prevalent.

“We’ve prioritised mental health services and also taken a number of tough decisions to ensure services are sustainable for the longer term.”

He said new leadership would build on the work already done and continue to address the challenges ahead.

Rosemary Liewald, who chairs the partnership’s integration joint board, said: “He has led the IJB through what is the most challenging time of change any partnership can have regarding joined-up care redesign.”