The news that Marie Curie looks set to continue to provide end of life care for people in Fife has been welcomed.
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and Marie Curie met this week in what is seen as an important and positive first step forward in the provision of palliative care in the region.
It followed the charity’s announcement that it would not renew its contract, which runs out in May, because it didn’t believe the terms were in the best interest of patients and their families and that the service delivered within the rates would result in a reduction in the quality of care.
However following the meeting both agencies have agreed to work through the concerns, with professional teams from the charity and the Partnership’s palliative care team.
Claire Dobson, divisional general manager (West) with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership explained that the ongoing discussions would help both parties move towards reaching an agreement by the end of April.
She said: “A very constructive meeting was held this week and we have agreed, in principle, that we will work with Marie Curie in the years ahead.
“We have worked closely with Marie Curie for many years in Fife and, as part of this ongoing relationship, we have agreed to have a workshop in April to co-design elements of the Marie Curie Service moving forward. This will include a variety of key stakeholders including the palliative care service.”
Eamon O’Kane, Marie Curie’s divisional general manager for Scotland said: “There is clear commitment on all sides to maintaining a collaborative approach that supports patients and families in Fife. We all want to ensure the provision of services that are able to adapt to future need as we know more people will need palliative and end of life care.
“We look forward to the April workshop to agree a positive and sustainable future for palliative care in Fife.”
Councillor David Graham, Fife Council’s health and social care spokesperson, welcomed the news, saying: “I know from visiting and speaking to teams across health and social care that the provision of high quality care in Fife is first and foremost, whether it is delivered from in-house teams or from our voluntary or independent providers and I await the final outcome of the discussions between the partnership and Marie Curie in the coming weeks.” There are currently 14 Marie Curie nurses in Fife.