A FIFE councillor has called on members of the region’s health board to “stop hiding” as the battle to maintain out-of-hours services at Glenrothes Hospital continues.
Councillor John Beare, representative for Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch, has urged elected members of the NHS Fife board to make themselves accountable to the public after Fife Council agreed last week to back his motion calling for the retention and upgrading of the complex in Cadham.
The support was confirmed at last week’s full council meeting, after months of fighting by local campaigners to preserve an out-of-hours GP service at the hospital.
Mr Beare said: “I remain disappointed that the elected NHS board members continue to hide behind a post box address in Kirkcaldy.
“If they are elected to serve us, a job for which they are well paid, I expect them to be available to us all and not hide behind an office address.”
Meanwhile, Mr Beare has again urged the health authority to withdraw plans to move the out-of-hours service to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
He added: “It would be better for us all if NHS Fife withdrew these proposals until a full consideration of total service provision at Glenrothes Hospital has been carried out.”
Resolving the future of the hospital’s out-of-hours service has been described as an important issue by NHS Fife chief executive John Wilson.
Responding to Mr Beare’s comments, Mr Wilson said: “NHS Fife is committed to listening to the views of the people and we agree that further work needs to be done.
“NHS Fife’s elected board members do not represent individual constituencies within Fife but consider issues which relate to the NHS system as a whole and across NHS Fife.
“All our elected board members can be contacted through our corporate services department at the NHS Fife board headquarters in Kirkcaldy.”
NHS Fife chiefs are currently undertaking a detailed analysis of the available options before making a decision on the future of the out-of-hours service at Glenrothes Hospital.
A decision is expected to be taken in the spring.