A concerned Fife community is to campaign against the sudden loss of its local out-of-hours GP cover.
For the second time in five years, members of Glenrothes Area Futures Group will draw up a battle plan to save the weekend and overnight service at the town’s community hospital.
Members said they would not be taking the closure lightly.
Chairman Dr Bob Grant added: “This is an abysmal way to mark the 70th birthday of Glenrothes.
The move comes as MSPs of all parties join forces in protest at the move.
Primary care emergency services (PCES) were stopped at Glenrothes, St Andrews and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, from last Monday in response to “nursing and medical staffing difficulties”.
Patients are instead being directed to Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.
Fife health and social care partnership said the immediate action, was necessary to ensure the continuation of a clinically safe and sustainable service.
While the contingency measures are due to be in place for three months, the partnership has said it is developing longer-term plans for urgent care and will consult the public before a final decision is made.
In a letter to director of health and social care Michael Kellet, SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth expressed a number of serious concerns.
The letter, also signed by Labour members Claire Baker and Alex Rowley, Conservative Liz Smith, Green MSP Mark Ruskell and former Glenrothes Labour MP Lindsay Roy, urged the partnership to seriously reconsider the decision as a matter of urgency.
“Whilst we appreciate the proposed closure is temporary in nature, we have serious concerns this may be used as a precedent in the future,” they said.
Pointing out that the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision for health and social care states specific work should be done to improve out-of-hours services, they added “We are concerned that this decision will not tackle health inequalities but only risk exacerbating them.
“We would also contend that the decision has provided no opportunity for the patient voice to be heard.”
Mr Rowley has written separately to Mr Kellet with concerns about the knock-on effect the decision may have on Victoria Hospital.
He also fears for patients who do not own a car and are unable to afford a taxi across Fife to visit a GP.
Claire Dobson, the partnership’s general manager (west) said PCES and other urgent care services were under considerable pressure nationally.
“This is due partly to increasing demand, particularly from people with multiple long-term conditions and complex care needs, as well as the availability of doctors and nurses,” she said.
“GPs are independent contractors who can, and do, accept shifts on an ad-hoc basis.”
Ms Dobson added that if a patient is unable to drive or take a taxi, a clinician would call them and take “appropriate measures”.