Finally a Glenrothes Out-of-Hours service fit for purpose

Health board bosses state their case at one of the early OOH meetings.
Health board bosses state their case at one of the early OOH meetings.

The upgrading of a service once deemed “unfit for purpose” has finally been completed at the town’s Out-of-Hours emergency facility.

Around £80,000 has been invested to improve facilities at the hospital, including around £40,000 spent on the Primary Care Emergency Service (PCES) based at the Glenrothes site.

The money was spent on the upgrade of the patient waiting area and consultation rooms and improvements in the process of infection control. A full decorative refurbishment was also carried out.

The Gazette joined politicians, community leaders and residents in an impassioned 12-month campaign to oppose plans to close the service and relocate it at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.

The subsequent ‘Save Our Service’ campaign described by MSP Tricia Marwick at the time as the biggest fight the town had faced in 25 years.

Now the town finally has a service it can both be proud of and confident in.

Mrs Marwick said at last the facility was one the people of Glenrothes deserved.

“What a difference these upgrades have made, it’s like night and day,” she told the Gazette.

“Patients now have an Out-of-Hours service that the people of this town and the surrounding area should have been afforded all along.

“It shows that we were right to oppose the closure proposals and fight for a service that rightly belongs at this hospital,” she added.

Lindsay Roy MP added: “The refurbishment is not only good news for the town but also goes some way to support the staff who do a great job at this hospital.

“It shows NHS Fife’s case to close the service were unfounded and wrong.”

Senior health officials originally claimed it would need £200,000 spent to bring it up to standard.

Dr Brian Montgomery NHS Fife’s medical director said: “Work has been undertaken to improve both infection control and fire safety, whilst also ensuring a greater degree of privacy for our patients.

“These improvements benefit both those attending the out-of-hours service and those using existing services during the in-hours period.”

The Gazette threw it’s weight behind the campaign to save the Out-of-Hours emergency service after it revealed in an interview with senior NHS Fife manager Susan Mannion the service was “unfit for purpose” and it was declared that there was “no alternative” but to close the service and relocate it to Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital 10 miles away.

Outraged by the claims, community groups, members of the public and politicians joined forces in the ‘Save Our Service’ campaign.

Spearheaded by Tricia Marwick MSP and Lindsay Roy MP.

Party politics were put aside as the fight intensified in the 12-month campaign.

Members of NHS Fife board dramatically threw out the closure proposal by the narrowest of margins - 11 votes to 10.

The decision marked a triumph for the town and vindicated the efforts of campaigners.