A leading councillor has criticised the “doubly uncommunicative” board for Fife’s health and social care, following its axing of a day care centre for disabled people.
Councillor Alice McGarry, convener of Fife Council’s south and west Fife area committee, said the integrated joint board (IJB) of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, established in April, would need to change if it is to succeed.
The board, which brings together NHS Fife and Fife Council’s social work service, came under fire over the closure of Rosyth Resource Centre which has around 35 users.
The south and west Fife committee has called for a probe by the council’s scrutiny committee of the decision to axe the centre, which one employee said would be a massive blow to those who rely on it.
Mrs McGarry said the NHS Fife board — chaired by her sister Tricia Marwick — and the council’s social work service were the partners least likely to engage with council committees examining their work.
She said: “The least engaging elements of social work and the health board have come together to give us a doubly uncommunicative organisation.
“They need to change that going forward if they are going to make a success of the IJB.”
The Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay SNP councillor said she had raised the issue of Rosyth Resource Centre with the head of the IJB.
She said: “There has been a complete lack of transparency and scrutiny in relation to this.
“Whether the decision reached was the correct one is neither here nor there, there were none of the processes followed which would have been if it had been a council decision rather than an IJB one.”
However, David Heaney, of the health and social care partnership, insisted service users views were reported to the board before it concluded the Rosyth service would go.
The east division general manager said: “The decision to redesign Fife’s day services for older people was made by the board in June 2016.
“This was founded on the results of consultation across Fife with 3,700 stakeholders.
“Over 1000 individuals and organisations responded, and our redesign proposals reflect the range of comments set out in the consultation response.
“At its meeting in July 2017, the board approved a proposal to redesign services including those at Rosyth Resource Centre.
“Prior to the board decision, staff, service users and relatives were informed of the proposal.
“Comments from these discussions were fed back to the board before it made its decision.”