Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Murdo Fraser, has called on the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership to reverse proposed cuts to Fife out-of-hours care for the sake of East Neuk residents during a debate on the subject in the Scottish Parliament.
During a Members Business debate, the Scottish Conservative MSP warned that East Neuk residents could be faced with long journeys and too few public transport options if services are centralised to Kirkcaldy and has cautioned that elderly residents could be particularly disadvantaged.
Murdo believes that the Scottish Government must do more to help health boards attract staff whilst also creating sufficient training places in nursing and medicine to help ease future demand.
Over 6,000 people have signed a petition calling for these plans to be shelved and the issue has cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting after the debate, Murdo Fraser MSP said;
“A future where people in the East Neuk of Fife have to travel significant distances to access out-of-hours care without access to public transport or affordable travel is simply not on.
“This is a part of Fife with a high proportion of elderly residents and families, the very people who rely on this type of service. Removing out-of-hours care without credible alternatives would be unforgiveable and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership need to show greater flexibility.
“I was heartened by the Public Health Minister’s contribution but we need to see real help and solutions in order to prevent these plans becoming reality.
“A failure to recruit and train clinical staff is hitting out-of-hours services across the country and the Scottish Government must do more to help with workforce planning, as this is ultimately the root cause of these issues.”