Health bosses in Fife are facing more political pressure over their decision to temporarily close out of hours service at three hospitals, and put them all into the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
The decision taken by Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has sparked an outcry in Glenrothes which fought to save its town’s service five years ago – and generated feedback in Dunfermline and St Andrews.
Now, Annabelle Ewing, MSP for the Cowdenbeath constituency, has raised her concerns.
She has written to Michael Kellet, director of the organisation which took the decision, for more information. She wants to know what assessments were done before temporarily closing the service in Glenrothes, Queen Margaret Community Hospital in Dunfermline, and St Andrews Community Hospital for up to three months.
She said: “I understand that this has been taken in response to particular staffing difficulties but I have a number of concerns and I have written to Michael Kellet to express those concerns.
“I want to know what assessment has been made regarding the capacity at the Victoria Hospital to deal with these temporary contingency arrangements and what arrangements are in place for those who simply cannot get to the Victoria – for example the elderly, those with sick children, those with particular long-term conditions. The information Mr Kellet has provided thus far on this point is unclear.
“However temporary, these are major changes to health provision in Fife and I have asked what steps have been taken to ensure that all potential users of the service have been made aware of these contingency arrangements.
“Above all, I want to know what specific actions have been put in place, right now, to ensure that Out of Hours Services between midnight and 8am at the Queen Margaret Community Hospital will indeed resume on July 9,as he has said that they will.’’