Following last year’s closure of the out-of-hours services in hospitals across North East Fife, including St Andrews Community Hospital, it has been confirmed that the Integration Joint Board of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has accepted a proposal for the out-of-hours service, allowing it to continue to operate in St Andrews.
The emergency contingency measures, imposed in March 2018, were previously set to be extended until August this year due to a reevaluation of the service.
Announced via the St Andrews Students’ Association Facebook page in a post delivered by Association President Paloma Paige and Director of Wellbeing Nick Farrer, the proposal for the service “maintains a presence and an operating centre in North East Fife—in St Andrews Community Hospital.”
While voting to accept the proposal, some members of the IJB were of the opinion that Glenrothes should also have a centre. However, the majority of the board were in agreement that such a centre would be unsustainable.
Students and locals in the community have been campaigning against the closure of Fife out-of-hours services since September, with contribution from local MSPs as well as Principal Sally Mapstone of the University of St Andrews.
The proposal for the out-of-hours service marks a success for the St Andrews community as a whole. For students, as mentioned by Ms Paige and Mr Farrer, the proposal means that those without access to their own car will be left “much safer and less vulnerable.”
The Association President and Director of Wellbeing praised students who engaged in the consultation process and made their views heard, as well as expressing gratitude to the FHSCP for taking student feedback on board in the final proposal.
Ms Paige and Mr Farrer acknowledged the tremendous effort and hours of work contributed by the members of the University, Community Council, Out of Hours group, Health and Wellbeing Subcommittee, as well as all councillors and MSPs who worked to save the service.