Mid-Scotland and Fife MSPs, Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith, have called on Fife’s Integration Joint Board (IJB) to put forward a middle way that would achieve safe and sustainable out-of-hours healthcare in the region at next week’s critical meeting.
More than 7,000 people have put their name to a petition rallying against the recent closure of out-of-hours care in St Andrews.
As it stands, the IJB is due to make a decision on the future of these services, and Murdo and Liz have cautioned against starting another drawn out consultation process and instead want the board to put forward practical options for its future.
Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“NHS Fife and officials from the IJB already know what the people of North East Fife want and need with 7,000 people making that clear.
“Rather than starting another time-consuming consultation process, which could end up exactly where the last one finished, we should see practical options put forth to ensure people in the area have access to convenient out-of-hours care.
“Ignoring the outcry isn’t a viable choice and decision makers must listen to what’s said.
“Ultimately, the end goal here has to be safe and sustainable medical provision. In an ideal world this would be the continuation of out-of-hours care at St Andrews, but failing that a sub option must be developed that bridges the gap between these two positions.
Commenting Liz Smith MSP said:
“Out-of-hours care is incredibly important for a whole range of patients but particularly the young and elderly.
“The first hour is critical in any health emergency and as it stands patients in St Andrews are having to travel over an hour to get to Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes.
“There are clearly struggles to recruit clinical staff in North East Fife, but patients here must have access to a safe and convenient out-of-hours care.
“Instead of starting another costly consultation process, I want the IJB to put forth options that would bridge the gap between the two current positions whilst taking into account the strength of feeling in North East Fife.”