An MSP has called on Fife Council, NHS Fife and the Scottish Government to join forces and find a solution to the shortfall in Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership budget.
Scotland’s Health Secretary Jeane Freeman acknowledged last December that the partnership had been set up with a deficit in funding from the outset.
She told Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley she would examine options to address this.
But now Mr Rowley has written to the chief executives of NHS Fife and Fife Council, asking why the shortfall happened in the first place, and what action is planned to bring Fife into line with others across Scotland.
“Back in December I was pleased there was an acknowledgement that the core budget for health and social care in Fife had been set up with a built-in deficit but I am frustrated that nothing seems to have been done to address this problem,” said the Labour politician.
“Many individuals and families will have experienced the difficulty in getting a care package and getting support in the community.
“In my view this is getting worse not better and is why this deficit must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“Even then it will continue to be difficult but at least Fife will be on the same funding footing as the rest of Scotland and not continuing to carry a deficit.”
Both chief executives confirmed they had received his letter.
Fife Council’s boss Steve Grimmond added it was working with the partnership “to address the significant demand pressures” facing the service.
A Scottish Government spokesperson added it was working with COSLA, Fife Council, NHS Fife and the partnership, providing direct support to its partners in Fife and engaging with local communities to ensure quality services.
He added the Scottish budget proposed an extra £2 billion of investment, an increase of more than £730 million for health and care services and enhanced package of up to £187m to councils.