New petition to push for funding to replacing crumbling Lochgelly Health Centre

A new petition has been launched in a bid to secure funding for a new health centre in Fife town after it was kicked into the long grass by the Scottish Government.
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It was launched by Alex Rowley MSP after finance for a new facility in Lochgelly was deemed not to be a priority, and may not see the light of day until the end of the decade. NHS Fife had been pursuing plans to build new centres in the town and also Kincardine until a decision by the Scottish Government to adopt a phased approach to capital expenditure meant neither could be delivered within planned timescales, with no further updates planned until 2025.

That sparked a political backlash which continued this week with Mr Rowley, who represents Mid Scotland and Fife, launching his petition to force a re-think.

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The existing health centre has been deemed “unfit for purpose” with the Labour politician saying it is in such a bad state of disrepair that the staff need to put buckets out to catch water leaking from the roof when it rains.

Funding for the new Lochgelly Health Centre has been put on holdFunding for the new Lochgelly Health Centre has been put on hold
Funding for the new Lochgelly Health Centre has been put on hold

Plans for a new centre in Lochgelly were first discussed in 2012, due for completion in 2019 and then delayed to last year. Now it is likely to be the end of the decade before any new facility is built.

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, has already accepted from fellow SP, Annabelle Ewing, to visit the centre - but Mr Rowley also wants action.

He said: “We need an assurance that Lochgelly is at the top of the list and that the funds will be made available to ensure this much needed facility gets build as soon as is possible. It is entirely unreasonable to expect patients to receive and medical staff to offer essential services in a building where buckets are needed to catch water when it rains. That is why I am asking the people of Lochgelly and the surrounding areas who rely on Lochgelly Health Centre to sign the petition and demand this funding is brought forward as promised.”

Mr Rowley has started the “Lochgelly needs a new health centre” online petition on in anticipation of Mr Matheson’s visit.