Former Fife MP calls for independent inquiry into out-of-hours decision
A former Glenrothes MP says there is a growing suspicion health bosses deliberately deceived the public over hospital service closures and has called for an independent inquiry to investigate.
Former town MP Lindsey Roy has hit out at Fife Health and Social Care boss Michael Kellett claiming failures in his management of the impending crisis led to the emergency closure of three Out-Of-Hours primary care GP services at Glenrothes, Dunfermline and St Andrews hospital because of a staffing shortage and fears over patient safety.
Furthermore, Mr Roy told the Gazette there was a growing view that the public had been deliberately kept in the dark over the situation.
“Michael Kellett has already acknowledged that there had been management shortcomings in alerting key stakeholders of the impending crisis,” said Mr Roy.
“Indeed, he indicated that lessons had been learned from the lack of communication and consultation.
“However, such processes are so central to effective management planning, that the critical question must be asked – was he he really asleep at the wheel?”
“As such consultation is so fundamental to good management practice, there is now more than a strong and widespread suspicion within the community that such processes were deliberately bypassed.
“In other words, there was a deliberate management strategy to keep people in the dark – and present the crisis and the closure as inevitable, with no way back.
“Surely, given the circumstances, there Is a strong case for an independent inquiry to ascertain whether or not Michael Kellett helped create this crisis, and had planned a deliberate strategy for closure all along.”
Mr Roy said the public now deserved answers to serious questions over Mr Kellett’s handling of the crisis.
“Had he decided that the service was low priority and dispensable? An independent inquiry would clarify matters – and we have a right to know,” said Mr Roy.
Proposals for a reconfiguration of the service, which don’t feature options for a Glenrothes or St Andrews service, are to be brought back to a meeting of the Integrated Joint Board of health officials for approval later this month, before being put out to public consultation.
Mr Roy is just one of many now calling for that consultation to be put on hold.