Fife women ‘let down’ claim over access to specialist gynaecology department

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A Fife MSP who claimed women “are being let down” over access to a dedicated specialist gynaecology department has been challenged by NHSFife.

Roz McCall claimed patients requiring specialist care for conditions such as endometriosis had been moved to a small section next to the maternity ward at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

The new MSP - a former Perth Tory councillor who replaced Dean Lockhart after he stood down as a List MSP - raised the matter during First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament.

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She said it was “crucial” that sufferers of endometriosis have the quickest possible access to specialist care to help manage the condition, and that for the past two years, women have had no access to a dedicated specialist gynaecology department since the closure of the ward at the Vic during the during the pandemic.

Victoria Hospital, KirkcaldyVictoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

Ms McCall said: ‘’The fact that women in Fife who may have miscarried, or have other acute gynaecological issues, are forced to share a corridor with other women who have just given birth, is frankly appalling.

‘’The gynaecology ward at the Victoria Hospital needs to be urgently re-instated in full as soon as possible. ’Women across Fife are being let-down.”

NHS Fife said the gynaecology service at the Vic was not relocated due to the pandemic - instead it was to facilitate the move of the Medicine of the Elderly Ward to newer part of the hospital to help improve the care of vulnerable older patients.

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Claire Dobson, director of acute services, said: “It is incorrect to suggest that women have had no access to a dedicated specialist gynaecology department over recent years. Our service continues to see significant numbers of women each year, and while the physical location of the service moved in 2019, women have continued to have access to the specialist gynaecology service throughout.

“We are acutely aware of physical and psychological needs of patients accessing the gynaecology service, and while there are both maternity and gynaecology services provided within the footprint of Ward 24, we maintain complete separation of the two patient groups.

“Work to further improve the environment in Ward 24 and create even greater separation between the two services will also begin shortly.”

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