Campaign to replace crumbling Fife health centre will go into new year

The campaign for a new health centre in Lochgelly to replace the town’s dilapidated facility will continue into 2024, an MSP has pledged.
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Annabelle Ewing, who represents the Cowdenbetah constituency, pushed Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison, on plans to address the long-running issue.

NHS Fife promised to replace the David Street facility by 2019, but work never started, and it was kicked into the long grass after a decision by the Scottish Government to adopt a phased approach to capital expenditure meant the £13m project couldn't be delivered within planned timescales, with no further updates planned until 2025.

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That sparked a huge backlash locally, with Michael Matheson, Health Secretary, invited to see the state of the building for himself. He also met a group of local campaigners afterwards, who spent about 15 minutes with him and described him as “a professional waffler.”

How the new Lochgelly Health Centre could look - if the £13m funding can be secured (Pic: NHSFife)How the new Lochgelly Health Centre could look - if the £13m funding can be secured (Pic: NHSFife)
How the new Lochgelly Health Centre could look - if the £13m funding can be secured (Pic: NHSFife)

During General Questions in the Scottish Parliament last week, Ms Ewing, pressed the Deputy First Minister on plans for a new medical centre.

Speaking afterwards,she said: “The Cabinet Secretary’s increases to the capital budget for health, despite whatever the UK Government throws at us by way of capital cuts, are welcome. I will continue to press for Lochgelly’s much needed new health centre to be extremely high on the list of priorities and will hold the Scottish Government to delivering on the promises that have been made.”

Ms Ewing invited Mr Matheson to visit Lochgelly in September. She said she was pleased that he “absolutely accepts that the case has been made in terms of the need for a new Lochgelly Medical Centre.”

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At the time, the MSP said: “I fully understand the severe pressures that there are on the capital budget given both cuts from Westminster and increased construction inflation, all of which has led to a review of capital expenditure projects right across government.

“However, I have been – and will continue - pressing the Scottish Government to make the new Lochgelly Medical Centre a priority. Lochgelly has waited an awful long time and surely it must be its turn now.”

The Friends of Lochgelly Health Centre said they will continue to push for funding to come sooner rather than later. Mr Roberts said the group is currently in the process of organising a demonstration in front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh.