James Calder

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GP Out of Hours Closure Meeting and Petition

by jamescalder on 15 May, 2018

Over the last few weeks there has been a significant amount of updates on the temporary GP out of hours closure at the Queen Margaret Hospital, and over the last few days the Dunfermline Liberal Democrats have launched a petition and I attended as the Liberal Democrat representative a public meeting last night.

I will start off with last nights meeting which was attended on a cross-party basis by myself for the Liberal Democrats as well as representatives from the Conservatives, Labour, SNP and Greens. The meeting began with a Presentation from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership which was followed by a Q&A session featuring questions both from concerned members of the public and politicians.

A number of concerning issues were raised. These included concerns over planning, a lack of available staff, worries about how people would be able to make it to Kirkcaldy without adequate transport but also concerns over the running down of the Queen Margaret Hospital over the years.

I raised issues that people have discussed with me and mentioned their concerns that people in Dunfermline felt ignored. I asked whether their responses to the upcoming consultation on the long-term solutions to this issue will be listened to. I also raised concerns that the consultation will include the future of the Minor Injuries Unit at the Queen Margaret, and mentioned that I found this deeply worrying. Overall I left the meeting feeling there was more questions than answers and that I was in fact more concerned, not less concerned.

The Dunfermline Liberal Democrats launched a petition opposing the closure this weekend and ran a street stall on Saturday on the High Street in which I was in attendance. We had a huge response from the people of Dunfermline and West Fife and collected hundreds of signatures on the first day of the petition alone. The depth of feeling in the local area was made clear – we should be seeing an increase, not a decrease, in local health provision.

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