NHS Fife faces annual review, and public presentation comes next

NHS Fife Scottish Government Annual Review - Cabinet Secretary, Jeane Freeman, meets members of the Orthopaedics team
NHS Fife Scottish Government Annual Review - Cabinet Secretary, Jeane Freeman, meets members of the Orthopaedics team

NHS Fife has had its annual review – and the public will get their say early in the new year.

The organisation’s performance over the last 12 months was put under scrutiny in a new format brought in by the Scottish Government.

It gave the politicians at Holyrood charged with delivering health services a chance to assess how Fife was doing against the targets it has been set – and challenge its senior managers on areas where improvements are required.

The Scottish Government review was held at Victoria Hospital on Monday and attended by Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.

Tricia Marwick, chairman of NHS Fife board, and Paul Hawkins, chief executive, also welcomed Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer, to the meeting.

The annual review covered the period from April 1 2017 to the end of March this year.

And, by and large, it was a positive report on NHS Fife’s performance.

On emergency access, NHS Fife achieved the national target of treating and admitting/discharging 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

That was better than the national average of 92.2 per cent.

Some 98.5 per cent of patients began cancer treatment within 31 days – above the target of 95 per cent, and an improvement on the national average of 94.3 per cent.

The board was also able to report to the Cabinet Secretary that it had achieved financial breakeven, even delivering a small underspend of around £1.5m.

However, the review highlighted where there were areas where there is scope to improve performance.

NHS Fife has to do better when it comes to waiting times for outpatients.

Some 93.6 per cent of patients were seen within 12 weeks of their first referral – but the target it was aiming for was 95 per cent.

On the plus side, local figures ARE still significantly better than the national average which is just 74.9 per cent.

Tricia Marwick welcomed the opportunity to review the progress of the past year.

She said: “The Scottish Government annual review meeting was extremely useful in providing NHS Fife with a platform to highlight some exciting examples of the many innovative ways we are working to deliver for the people of Fife.

“The new format, instigated this year by the Scottish Government, allows the Government to examine NHS Fife’s performance over the previous year and provides the board with an opportunity to demonstrate how we are working to deliver Scottish Government targets, whilst ensuring that our services are efficient and responsive to the individual needs of our patients.

“As part of this year’s review Jeane Freeman also met with NHS Fife staff representatives and patient and career groups to discuss their needs.”

However, the review process hasn’t fully finished.

The public presentation of the annual review takes place on Friday, February 15, in Dunfermline.

Board members will also be brought up to speed at the next board meeting which has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, January 30.