Out-of-Hours reduction in Fife highlights growing staff recruitment problem

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser, has raised concerns over clinical staff recruitment in NHS Fife following news that contingency measures are in operation as a result of failures to properly staff out-of-hours services.

In a note to the MSP yesterday, the Director of Health and Social Care, Michael Kellet, stated that overnight out-of-hours shifts (midnight to 8am) will no longer be delivered at Queen Margaret Community Hospital in Dunfermline, Glenrothes Community Hospital and St Andrews Community Hospital. Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy will now offer the only overnight out-of-hours care in the region.

Out-of-hours services provide urgent care to people when GP practices are closed and NHS Fife is not alone in experiencing problems running these services with NHS Tayside recently facing similar pressures.

The Scottish Conservatives want to ease the recruitment crisis in our NHS by ring-fencing GP funding, putting in place a proper workforce plan and increasing the number of medical school places for Scottish students.

Commenting Murdo Fraser MSP said;

“The reduction in the out-of-hours footprint across Fife is concerning but not entirely surprising. Health boards across Scotland are struggling to find clinical staff to fulfil these roles and the Scottish Government have serious questions to answer over their lack of proper workforce planning.

“Out-of-hours care is incredibly important for residents across Fife, and the security of having a doctor close by in times of need cannot be underestimated.

“Ultimately, NHS Boards across the country need a proper workforce plan from the Health Secretary. We need more students retained in Scotland after training and we need to equip health boards with funding and incentives to attract the best and brightest.

“The NHS is experiencing a perfect storm right now and it is important that places like Fife are properly supported by the Scottish Government.”

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