By Fay Sinclair
A petition calling for accident and emergency services to be returned to Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital has attracted more than 1000 signatures online and an estimated 10,000 signatures in total.
West Fife patients currently have to travel to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy for emergency treatment, but an online petition calling for A&E services to be offered in Dunfermline has attracted 108 pages of signatures since being published on March 21.
James Philip, who started the petition, said: “A large thank you to all the people who have signed up. We need more people to participate in this cause.
“I do not intend to stop campaigning for our services to be returned. The people of West Fife have been discriminated against by the people who make these decisions – let’s keep this going!”
A minor injuries clinic replaced Dunfermline’s A&E in 2012, with all emergency services for Fife moved to Kirkcaldy. The move was part of the “Right for Fife” scheme agreed in 2001/2002 to modernise health provision across Fife.
One Dunfermline resident, who asked not to be named, told Fife News Online: “I tried to get my six-month-old seen at Queen Margaret last week and was told they wouldn’t even look at a baby under a year because they are a nurse-led unit with no doctors at all. My baby had a nasty infection and was bleeding from his ear but I was told I’d have to drive all the way to A&E in Kirkcaldy.
“It’s a ridiculous situation to have a big, relatively new hospital here in Dunfermline but to be turned away with a distressed infant and told to get yourself to another hospital 15 miles away. I’ve signed the petition and hope it makes a difference.”
Dunfermline MSP Cara Hilton has also backed the campaign, arguing that Dunfermline has changed significantly since the decision to centralise emergency provision in Kirkcaldy was made and that services should be delivered locally.
She claims the campaign has gathered around 10,000 signatures in total and has highlighted the online petition social media as well as commenting on it in her local newspaper column.
She said: “This massive response highlights what an important issue this is to the community here. I am really impressed with the response this petition has received and it has my full support.”
The petition can be found at www.petitions24.com/a/80137