A TOTAL of 16 sewage leaks have been dealt with by NHS Fife in the last four years.

The figures were revealed after a freedom of information request from the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Across Scotland, a total of 196 leaks were reported across seven health boards since 2019.

Former Dunfermline MP Willie Rennie, who is now an MSP for North East Fife, expressed concern at the figures.

“The number of sewage leaks, sixteen in the last four years, is a serious concern and suggests that this is a recurring problem," he said.

"It is also concerning that the true number may be even greater. Raw sewage spills in any setting are unwelcome but in hospitals there is a greater possibility of that it may cause a risk to health.

“Patients across Fife who rely on Victoria and Queen Margaret hospitals will rightly be dismayed. They deserve reliable buildings which don’t suffer sewage leaks. Staff should also be able to go about their work without worrying whether they will be disrupted by an incident like this.

“I hope that NHS Fife and the other health boards across Scotland which have suffered problems will be able to offer assurances that these issues have been addressed. They should also make clear when and where the incidents occurred, and explain whether they posed any risk to health.

“The Scottish Government also needs to put forward a clear plan to prevent sewage leaks into waterways, after it was revealed that raw sewage was released more than 14,000 times last year.

"They must urgently work with regulators to upgrade Scotland's Victorian sewage systems and prevent incidents like these."

Responding to the figures, NHS Fife's head of estates, Paul Bishop, said: "NHS Fife staff reported 16 sewage leaks to our Estates and Facilities team during the four-year period of 2019 - 2022.

"The majority of these leaks were considered to be minor with a large proportion of the leaks caused by misuse, with inappropriate items being flushed into the system.

"With a large hospital estate spread over 46 sites, NHS Fife has a comprehensive maintenance schedule, and any sewage leaks are managed quickly and efficiently."