MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Claire Baker has called on the Scottish Government to act to alleviate pressures on NHS Fife services ahead of the onset of winter.
Earlier this month NHS Fife postponed all non-urgent surgery and some outpatient appointments, saying it was facing pressure “unlike anything we have experienced during our response to the pandemic”. This week they have referred to “significant ongoing challenges” and are looking at other services which can be stepped back to ensure safe staffing is in place.
During Portfolio Questions to the Health Secretary, Claire Baker highlighted the pressures facing the NHS in Fife and urged the Scottish Government to do more to ensure patients are not faced with further delays or reductions in services over the winter. She called for assurances that the situation in Fife will not deteriorate further, and for additional support to be provided to health boards.
MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Claire Baker said:
“NHS Fife has postponed all non-urgent surgery and some outpatient appointments already but is looking at further reducing services in order to cope. A&E performance in Fife is its lowest on record and among the worst in Scotland. Frontline staff are doing all they can but hospitals are already seeing more people turn up, for both covid and non-covid related conditions, than they would at the height of winter.
“Many patients having their surgery or appointments postponed have already been waiting a long time to be treated, and are understandably anxious about any further delay. What they need is reassurance that additional support for our NHS will be provided to ensure this situation isn’t just going to get worse through the winter.
“With the medical backlog caused by the pandemic ever increasing, we cannot see further delays to patient care. The Scottish Government needs to step up and address this urgently, and support our NHS staff to continue delivering across all areas of healthcare.”