A Rosyth councillor has slammed the decision to close a day centre - saying it will hit elderly dementia patients the hardest.

Samantha Steele says axing the Rosyth Resource Centre is "wrong" as dozens of vulnerable service users will be forced to travel to Dunfermline-based centres instead.

A proposal to close the day centre was passed today at the meeting of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Board.

The centre will close in November following a FHSCP report that stated user figures were dropping.

Changes also include stopping day care at the weekend at the Jean Mackie Centre at Kilmartin Way in Dunfermline.

Cllr Steele, a qualified nurse and midwife, spoke at the meeting of the board today to voice her "disappointment" at the decision, following her visit to the purpose-built centre in Granville Way recently.

She said: "The problem is with the inadequate referral system, not with lower demand.

"This decision makes no sense as the majority of users are from Rosyth.

"A total of 44 elderly people from the town will now be forced out to centres elsewhere.

"There are people there with dementia, some in advanced stages. Familiarity with their routine - time, place and person - is vital to their health."

In a bid to modernise day centre service Fife Council have been reviewing social care provision and say there is less demand for traditional day services such as Rosyth Resource Centre.

However, Cllr Steele criticised a report, 'Redesign of Day Services, Older People', which states that there is under-use of day service placements across Fife.

She continued: "The Fife average is 60 per cent usage. The figures for 2016/17 in Rosyth are above average at 62 per cent.

"Many of the elderly users will be taken to the Jean Mackie Centre and Matthew Fyfe Home - both are sitting at 60 per cent usage but are protected from closure due to having residential places.

"I will be seeking reassurances that there shall be a full and detailed consultation with all service users and their carers."

In 2015 a £77 million gap in Fife Council's budget put the day centre under threat, but proposals to close it were not followed up.

Just a year later, the council's administration ruled out any possibility of closure, and now they have reversed the decision again.

Douglas Chapman MP said: "I know of many families who use the centre.

"It's a real lifeline to those who have to support a relative who may have dementia or another serious condition.

"I hope that a lot more detail can be provided as to the impact this decision might have on service users and their families."

Annabelle Ewing MSP said: "This may prove short-sighted. I think that a review of this decision needs to take place to ensure those affected get the best possible outcome."

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager (East) at Fife Health and Social Care Partnership emphasised:" This is not a withdrawal of service but a redesign and re-provision to offer more choice and flexibility in the way services are delivered.

"Service users and families that all of those currently in receipt of a service will now be offered a range of alternative options to meet their needs.

"We fully recognize that the current day service we provide is highly valued and this change will raise some concerns.  

"Over the coming weeks and months we will work very closely with everyone involved to discuss individual service user needs and ensure the transition to the new arrangements is as smooth as possible.  "Through this approach we will continue to meet the needs of older

people as well as provide support for carers and families.”