THE message to NHS Fife from the Scottish Government is clear, there's no more funding on the horizon so "make do" with what you've got.

Alistair Morris, acting chair of the health board, relayed that information at last week's meeting after announcing a near £11 million overspend for the first four months of the financial year - and a £100m maintenance backlog.

Money worries have affected their capital plans and NHS Fife essentially agreed to focus on the properties and buildings they already have instead of looking at new projects. 

Mr Morris said: “Estates are going to make do with what we have and maintain rather than rebuild while trying to make sure our properties are safe and fit for purpose.

“I think there will be encouragement for us to look at our estate for multi-purpose. I can easily see us being in a position where we’re sharing a building with Fife Council for example.”

Dunfermline Press: There will be changes to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.There will be changes to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Across the Kingdom, the health board have 45 sites in their estate with 65 per cent in satisfactory condition, 27 per cent in poor condition and seven per cent in excellent condition.

Strategy papers also revealed that NHS Fife’s estate has £100m of backlog maintenance costs.

Neil McCormick, director of property and asset management, said: “Funding is currently constrained.

"In addition, NHS Fife has the legacy of an existing ageing estate to continue to maintain and manage. 

"These constraints may impact the speed and scale of our ambition, although we are confident that over the long-term, our flexible approach and collaborative outlook with local and national partners will produce positive outcomes.”

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The NHS Fife Property and Asset Strategy 2023/24 aims to contribute towards quality and patient care while making a “significant positive impact” on the workforce. 

Climate emergency and sustainability is also a top priority.

“Our directorate’s remit is diverse, but our main objective is to provide safe and appropriate facilities to facilitate patient care and to help with the day-to-day running of our services across Fife,” Mr McCormick said. 

Across primary care, NHS Fife are pushing for new health centres in Lochgelly and Kincardine, but are stuck waiting on money from the Scottish Government.

“We have progressed the designs and business cases for the Lochgelly and Kincardine health and wellbeing centres as far as we can and await capital funding from Scottish Government (forecast to be received in 2026),” the strategy said. 

The health board have also recognised the need for long-term major investment in primary care premises in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and North-East Fife. 

“Developments in these areas will help to address existing pressures, space required for additional workforce and the expansion of housing through the (Fife Council) local development plan,” the strategy explained. 

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NHS Fife also outlined key asset priorities across their acute services estate, which was “significantly impacted” by the pandemic and affected the ability to meet patient demand.  

“It is anticipated that changes to our acute services will be accommodated within our existing estate at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, with the emphasis being around evolution of our acute estate rather than revolution,” the strategy explained. 

Mr McCormick said the Victoria is at a stage in its life-cycle where “ there is a need to plan how the site might be developed into the future”. 

He added: “To enable this, we have commissioned and completed a masterplan development framework for the site which will help to control how we meaningfully protect and enhance site development moving into the future."