Health bosses study plan for gynaecology service at Fife hospital

NHS Fife logo
NHS Fife logo

Health bosses are planning to create a separate gynaecology ward next to Victorias Hospital’s existing maternity ward to meet service demand.

The move follows extensive consultation with clinicians over the best way forward for the service.

But the move has been criticised by one councillor.

James Calder, Lib Dem member for Dunfermline South, said he had “severe doubts” over the appropriateness of the move, and called on NHS Fife to look at alternative options.

He voiced concerns over a lack of space, and wanted assurances the services would remain separate.

Cllr Calder said: “Plans to move gynaecology were raised a few months ago, with Fife Council agreeing that we disagreed with this move. After this it seemed to go quiet but now appears to be back on the agenda for NHS Fife.

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“I have deep concerns with this move. Will there be enough space, particularly at busy periods, for all patients? Can NHS Fife ensure that there is complete separation of gynaecology and maternity patients to avoid any unnecessary distress being caused?

“I have severe doubts of the appropriateness of this move and would call on NHS Fife directors to look at alternatives.”

NHS Fife said the proposals still required formal approval, but had been the basis of detailed discussions with staff – and patient care was central to these talks.

Paul Hawkins, chief executive, said: “Over recent months we have carried out extensive consultations with our clinicians in obstetrics and gynaecology, nursing and midwifery teams to identify a number of possible locations for the most appropriate and sustainable long-term location for our gynaecology Ward.

“Patient care and experience was at the heart of this consultation process. Careful consideration has been given to the requirements of patients in both obstetrics and gynaecology services along with extensive data analysis to ensure that an adequate number of beds are always available for the care of our patients.

“Following careful consideration of several options, the preferred option is to create an entirely separate gynaecology ward adjacent to the existing Maternity Ward to meet service demand.

“Further to receiving final approval, architects will be commissioned to undertake a design and feasibility study which will confirm how the preferred outline proposal would be delivered.”
He added: “We have invited Councillor Calder to meet with our clinical management team to discuss the preferred option, and indeed the clinical grounds under which this proposal was selected, and we await his response.”