Initially, it was thought Glenrothes councillor Ian Sloan would be a ‘lone voice’ on the Community Health Partnership that covers the area.
But, as committee members were presented with the clinicians’ reasons for the service closure, serious concerns emerged over the basis and validity of such service re-location, culminating in some of Cllr Sloan’s fellow committee members, including Fiona Purdon and Margaret Harper, criticising the proposals at the July meeting in St Andrews.
On hearing the service had been saved, Cllr Sloan congratulated the NHS Fife board for coming to its conclusion.
He added: “As the only Glenrothes councillor on the CHP for Glenrothes and North East Fife, I used every available opportunity to challenge and dispute the need or wisdom of removing this critical service.
“I appealed to the elected members of Fife health board to reject the weak arguments and vote to retain the out-of-hours provision .
Mr Sloan also reckoned “common sense had prevailed”, adding: “This totally unjustified closure has been averted.
“The overwhelming and heartfelt wishes of local people, our MP, MSP, every Glenrothes area councillor, the Glenrothes Futures Group and all the relevant community councils have been listened to.
“This is a real victory for the community against the bureaucrats.
“Everyone involved in the campaign to save the out of hours GP Service in Glenrothes Hospital should feel proud that the decision to close, which appeared to some as a ‘done deal’, has been cast aside.”
The councillor has now written to the NHS Fife board calling for the whole future, status and operation of Glenrothes Hospital to be re-examined to ensure it fully meets 21st century standards.
“A Community Hospital is just what it says on the tin – it is there for the local community. The right care – at the right time – in the right place,” said Cllr Sloan.
“This review should be multi-agency, with full input from all interested parties, community groups and locally elected members – not solely NHS senior staff.”
“We have seen the marvellous facilities recently made available in St Andrews Community Hospital and many of these improvements in service delivery to local people should be replicated in our hospital.
“There is a minor injuries unit in St Andrews, so why not in Glenrothes?
“The quality of our out of hours service was never brought into question by the people who deliver the service and by the people who are served by it.
“This excellent provision will now continue in our local hospital.”