NHS FIFE has come up with an “action plan” after the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy was reported to the Scottish Government for the second time in less than two years.

The hospital came under fire after an unannounced Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) visit in December which slammed the “serious nature” of its problems with cleanliness.

Dirty patient equipment, high levels of dust, staff not washing their hands and contamination by blood and bodily fluids were just some of the issues highlighted in a damning report.

A follow-up inspection saw insufficient improvement and the hospital was reported to the Scottish Government for its failings.

Now, the health board has come up with an action plan to tackle its problems.

Interim chief executive Dr Brian Montgomery said, “The NHS Fife Board meeting last week referred specifically to the action plan devised following the results of HEI inspections at the Victoria Hospital in December 2014 and the invitation we extended to Health Protection Scotland to provide input.

“It is normal practice for health boards to collaborate with both external agencies and national bodies to ensure that they are constantly improving and providing the highest standard of care to patients.” The poor standards at Victoria Hospital isn’t the only thing that NHS Fife has come under fire for in recent months. It also showed disappointing results in the first weekly publication of A&E statistics last week, which detailed what percentage of patients were seen within four hours.

After Fife’s monthly figure from January dipped to 89.9 per cent, the week of 16th-22nd February dropped further to 88.2 per cent, far below the national target of 98 per cent.

Delayed discharge has also been a persistent problem for the Fife health board and it was given more than £6.7million back in January to fix the issue as a matter of urgency and take immediate action on bed-blocking.

Health secretary Shona Robison slammed the “unacceptably high” number of delays from October to December last year, where Fife’s figures showed more than 13,000 bed days occupied by delayed discharge patients.

However, the recently-published single-day census figures for January show signs of improvement for NHS Fife, with 62 delays compared to 89 for October last year.

MSP Alex Rowley has been vocal for some time about the poor performance of Fife’s service and told the Press he hoped to see improved results.

“I’m keen to work with NHS Fife,” he said. “The NHS is our greatest creation and the envy of the world but in Fife there have been too many problems and issues in the last year or two and the management has been in denial.

“I’m due to meet with them in the next few weeks and I’m looking forward to hearing more details. I’ve been pushing for some time now about the health and social care needs in Fife.

"We have to have a true assessment of needs to put in place the resources and services. The current situation is not acceptable and it’s why the council and the hospitals keep bouncing from crisis to crisis.” Dr Montgomery said, “In relation to patient flow and delayed discharge, the winter months present unique challenges and these are challenges that are being experienced by health boards across Scotland.

"NHS Fife continues to work closely with our partners in the council and joint improvement team to look at ways of refining and, in some cases, redesigning the services we provide and we are actively engaged in the assessment of various options that are nationally regarded as being best practice.

“NHS Fife and Fife Council have been working constructively for some time to reduce the number of patients who remain in hospital beyond completion of their treatment.

"Whilst we note a reduction in the number of delayed discharges, the challenge still remains and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in Fife Council to examine where additional measures which can be taken to identify new solutions for enabling earlier discharge.”