Fife health bosses were challenged over the level of information exchanged with the public during a performance review.
Criticism was levelled at the scrapping of a patient committee without people being informed and NHS Fife’s “poor” website, a main source of information for patients and visitors to the region’s hospitals.
NHS Fife chairwoman Tricia Marwick, chief executive Paul Hawkins and executive directors were questioned at the public presentation of the annual review in Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries on Friday.
Member of the public John Winton, a former board member, said the website failed to give people information they needed and that a patient focus and public involvement committee had apparently not met since 2017.
He said: “I was complaining four or five years ago when I was an elected board member about NHS Fife website and it’s still poor.
“The website is there to give information to the public and you are not doing this.”
He also said meetings of the committee had been cancelled and papers for it removed.
He asked: “Have you done away with this committee without telling the public?”
Helen Wright, director of nursing, said a review of public participation was being conducted.
She said: “We are reaching out to the public, patients and families to let them know we reviewing the whole process at he moment.
“It’s important we don’t have replication and that we engage with the appropriate people.”
Ms Marwick pledged investment in the website she agreed was “simply not good enough”.
She said: “By the time we come to the next annual review we will have an all-singing all-dancing website that will ensure the public can get the answers they need.”
New head of communications Kirsty MacGregor said investment in the website was top of her agenda.
She said: “It’s our front door. It’s 24/7 and we have to get information out to the public on services. Rest assured that this is in hand.”
Clare Haughey, Minister for Mental Health, also attended.
She said: “It’s absolutely vital that people are at the centre of everything we do in the NHS. We need to ensure that people’s views are heard.
“I will look forward to seeing the new refreshed website. It’s really important that people can access the information they need when they need it.”
Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman was criticised when it emerged she would not attend the public reviews of Scotland’s health boards, as has happened in previous years.
She chaired her review in private in December.