The situation at Valleyfield surgery has gotten seriously out of control. I don’t just say that as a mere outside observer or, as other candidates in the ward, as a means to gain your vote. I, like the residents of the local area who are part of that surgery, have a real-world vested interest in the success and failure of the surgery because of my mother who is both a patient at the surgery and also has advanced secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and dementia.
Indeed, the inability to get through to the surgery, or to have a doctor attend the house as far back as October 2018, resulted in the progression of sepsis resulting in her admission to hospital for almost a year.
Since then, a litany of issues has occurred, like prescriptions not being dealt with resulting in medications that should not be stopped suddenly, not being prescribed in time.
Valleyfield having to give up its contract and return it to NHS Fife has resulted in only one doctor being available at the surgery. Of the 6,502 calls connected to reception, 39% went unanswered — a total of 3,724 calls.
The fact is that either NHS Fife needs to increase funding for the surgery to allow it to increase availability to the patients, or emergency steps need to be taken to protect the wellbeing of patients, whether that be to temporarily transfer care to other surgeries. One thing is for sure, the situation cannot continue.
It will be one of the first things I bring up if elected in May.