£1.1m charity investment to help transform support for people living with cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support is investing £1.1m and is working in partnership with Fife Health & Social Care Partnership to introduce an innovative support programme for people affected by cancer.

The announcement comes ahead of World Cancer Day which takes place this Sunday, 4 February, to raise awareness and get people talking about cancer across the globe.

Action under the programme with see a vast array of community partners such as housing, voluntary agencies, health, Trusts and financial support agencies, as well as health and social care services, working together to support people with the non-medical concerns that come with a cancer diagnosis.  These can include fears around how they are going to cope financially, worries around employment or emotional stress for both themselves and the impact the diagnosis will have on their family and friends.

*Between 2011 and 2015 there were 11,239 cancers diagnosed in Fife and this number is expected to grow.  While it’s good news that advances in treatment mean that more people than ever are surviving, it also means that people living with cancer are living longer, often with long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that have a huge impact on health, wellbeing and independence.


When it comes to coping with the non-medical effects of the illness, a recent **survey carried out by the People’s Panel on behalf of Macmillan and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership revealed that many people don’t know where to go with the top three concerns being concern for family, side effects (of treatment) and treatment.

The new partnership initiative will be developed with people, their families as well as health and social care professionals and many others over the coming months to help address this.

Julie Paterson, Divisional General Manager (Fife Wide), Fife Health and Social Care Partnership gives more details:

“From the point of cancer diagnosis, we want to make knowing where to go for practical and emotional support easier.  Working with Macmillan and all our partners across Fife, the aim is to improve the communication and ways of working between local support groups, charities, council services, GPs and many, many others. Together we can be much more proactive in helping people deal with their worries such as housing or financial concerns as well as respond to their emotional and wellbeing needs by connecting them with local support services or groups, whatever matters most for each person.  It is early days but we will keep people informed as the plans for this exciting new approach in Fife develops.”

Macmillan’s Head of Services in Scotland, Janice Preston, said: “Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people’s lives and many patients tell us they don’t know where to turn for help. This new service should make sure everyone in Fife with cancer has someone to call on for help, no matter what they need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Fife.

It’s thanks to the continued support from people locally, who fund raise for us and donate so generously, that we are able to fund this vital new service. With their help we are able to make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Fife.”


*Information from ISD Fife Level Spreadsheet 1 (2011-2015)

There were 11,239 cancers (excluding Non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed in Fife between 2011 and 2015 (5,584 in men and 5,655 in women).  The most common cancers for both sexes combined (in order) were:

  • Trachea, Bronchus and Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Malignant melanoma of skin
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Oesophagus Cancer


** The survey was conducted by the People’s Panel on behalf of Macmillan and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and from the 494 respondents, 413 had experience of cancer.

START team supporting people from hospital to home

 As health and social care teams continue to work round the clock responding to the increased demand over winter, a new initiative to safely support people to return home from hospital sooner is proving its worth.

Rosemary Grubb, Maureen Swanston and Jennifer Gallacher from the team talk about the huge benefit the new approach is having as they work together to keep folk in Fife living independently for longer.

Going the extra mile

With the cold snap and snow storms over the weekend, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership staff have really been going the extra mile to make sure services continue to reach the most vulnerable.

Cindy Graham, Care At Home, Service Manager oversees the 900 strong home care workforce who brave the elements either on foot or by car each and every day:  “Where the snow has meant people can’t get to day care centres or other council services, staff have been going to them and making sure they have what they need to get through the worst of the weather.  In any given week we make around 22,000 visits. With the recent snow storms home carers have been working together with other social care partners and health teams to ensure we continue to respond to the needs of people in each local community.”


Caring for the most vulnerable is needed round the clock and as night falls, staff in the Mobile Emergency Care Service (MECS) provide a vital response to community alarm calls when friends and family, who are quite often themselves elderly and frail, are unable to come to the aid of a service user in difficulty.

Paula Edmonston, Community Alarm/Telecare  Manager, gives an insight into their work: “Community alarms and Telecare technology play a major role in helping vulnerable people retain their independence but it’s the team behind the service whose grit and determination in providing a lifeline for vulnerable people in Fife is being highlighted by current wintry conditions. As well as responding to alarm calls we’re also helping our colleagues in Home Care provide personal care to vulnerable people.”

Find out more about the Care at Home Service and the services they provide across Fife.


Quit the cigs and get 2018 off to a healthier start

New Year, new you?  Quit the cigs and get 2018 off to a healthier start by getting in touch with Fife’s Health Promotion Service, now part of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, who have a number of drop in support and advice services across Fife.

Kay Samson, Tobacco Co-ordinator with Fife’s Stop Smoking Service, gives more details:

“We can help individuals to stop smoking in a range of ways.  These include our Smoke Free Saturday sessions in Leven Library, Stop Smoking Clinics throughout Fife as well as our ‘What’s In Your Lungs Campaign’ where our mobile unit heads out into the community to offer people a free, no appointment necessary check to see how much carbon monoxide is in their lungs and offer free quick and easy advice to quit the cigs.  We encourage people to take the step and get in touch with us today.”

Cllr David Graham, Health and Social Care Spokesperson underlines the importance of giving up tobacco:

“There are many positives to quitting smoking.  If you quit you will feel better, have more money, get a feeling of accomplishment, have more energy, better breathing and healthier skin.  We know that smoking also increases the chances of people having major health issues such as heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and the onset of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), for which there is no cure .   For all of these reasons, I encourage everyone who smokes to take that first step and get in touch with Fife’s Stop Smoking Service to get lots of support and encouragement to getting fitter and healthier.”

 Get help today:

  • What’s In Your Lungs’ Mobile Unit – pop in for a chat with Lorraine from the Health Promotion Service every:

– Wednesday: Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes, near Rothes Halls. 10.15 am – 3.15pm

– Thursday: Shorehead Car Park, Leven. 10.30am- 3.30pm

– Friday: Lidl, Kirkcaldy promenade. 10.30am-3.30pm

  • Smoke Free Saturday – advice and support is now available in Leven Library in the High Street, every Saturday from 9.30am-12.30pm
  • Call 0800 025 3000 for more help and support to quit your way and to find your nearest Stop Smoking Clinic.

Balbirnie Park Golf Club donates £1000 to Dementia Friendly Glenrothes project

Balbirnie Park Golf Club has donated £1,000 to the Dementia Friendly Glenrothes project to support the ongoing work of the project.

Balbirnie Golf Club present their cheque

This project is a partnership between the Health and Social Care Partnership, the Glenrothes Area Committee, Fife Council and Alzheimer Scotland which aims to support people living with dementia to remain a valued part of their community.  The club now intends to get involved in the local dementia-friendly project by having staff take part in a Dementia Friends information session and assessing their premises to see if small changes could be made to make the club more accessible for people with dementia.

Robert Gibson, Captain of the Balbirnie Park Golf Club, said: “The ambition is that we provide an open, inclusive and welcoming golf club for as many people as possible who enjoy golf. As well as donating fundraised funds to the project we look forward to taking part in the Dementia Friends information session to ensure the social aspect of our golf club is suitable and welcoming to people with dementia and their families going forward.

“I have personally experienced the positive effects of participating in and even talking about golf through supporting my Dad who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year and who has a big passion for the game. We hope that more people who are affected by dementia will be able to continue to have positive golf-related experiences at Balbirnie Park Golf Club.”

Amanda Hunter, Project Manager for the Dementia Friendly Glenrothes project, commented, “We wish to extend our thanks to everyone at Balbirnie Park Golf Club who has made this generous donation possible and we look forward to supporting members to become dementia-friendly in the coming months.

“Our information sessions help increase awareness of dementia, tackle stigma and improve inclusion. Overall our mission is to help make everyday life better for people living with dementia and their carers, and change the way that local people think, talk and act when it comes to dementia.”

Businesses, services and community groups across Glenrothes who are interested in getting involved with the Dementia Friendly Glenrothes project can do so by contacting Amanda Hunter from Alzheimer Scotland on Tel: 01592 803800 or by Email: ahunter@alzscot.org.

For further information please contact Amanda Hunter from Alzheimer Scotland on Tel: 01592 803800 or by Email: ahunter@alzscot.org.

New Care Village for Methil

Proposals for a new care village in Methil are at an early stage as Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s commitment to high quality care for older people in Fife continues.

A new care village, which will replace Methilhaven Care Home, marks the second phase of the Partnership’s multi-million pound capital programme, which has already seen new care villages built in Kirkcaldy (Ostlers House), Glenrothes (Napier House) and Lumphinnans (Lindsay House).

David Heaney

David Heaney

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager (East) with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership gives more details:

“Fife’s care homes have served the community well for the last 30 to 40 years, and our investment in new care villages, alongside our Council partners, will ensure residents can enjoy living in buildings of the highest standard, providing the best quality of care for many years to come.

As we prepare to celebrate the completion of our third new care village in Lumphinnans, work is underway to plan for the next phase of our redevelopment programme which will see the replacement of our existing homes in Anstruther, Cupar and Methilhaven.

Plans will be put before Fife Council’s Policy and Co-ordination Committee in the Spring, seeking approval to develop the first of these new care villages.  The new home for Methil will see the home built on the site of the former Kirkland High School.   Although we have identified the site, plans are at a very early stage.

To assist with this work we will be undertaking various site investigations which will take the form of specialist engineers attending the site to conduct ground investigations.   We will continue to work closely with colleagues in Early Years (Education) and Housing Services to create opportunities for new service models so they benefit a wide range of the population.”

Cllr David Graham

Welcoming the news Cllr David Graham, Health and Social Care spokesperson stated:  “With people living longer we want to ensure that care supports independence and positive health and wellbeing at every stage.  Care homes play an important part in helping people flourish in their later years. Having visited both Ostlers House and Napier House, and with feedback from residents and families being extremely positive, I look forward to the seeing the plans for the new home in Methil develop.”


Health Promotion: Ruth Bennett

Ruth Bennett, Health Promotion Manager, Health Promotion Service gives an insight into how the team are working to reduce health inequalities and improve the wellbeing of people in Fife.

Our work is to support and encourage Fifers to achieve their full potential, stay well and develop skills and confidence so they have more control over their own health and wellbeing.

Health Promotion Service

Our team is made up of over 50 people with a vast variety of knowledge, skills and expertise which we use to reach out to a broad range of people across Fife, from young children to older people, this makes our work wide and varied.

We help individuals to stop smoking in a range of ways which includes our Smoke Free Saturday sessions in Leven Library, Stop Smoking Clinics throughout Fife as well as our ‘What’s In Your Lungs Campaign’ where our mobile unit heads out into the community to offer people a free, no appointment necessary check to see how much carbon monoxide is in their lungs and offer free quick and easy advice to quit the cigs.


The localities team go into the heart of the communities in Fife to identify where their specialist advice and expertise could support community members to work together to achieve the best health outcome for residents.

Our workplace teams visit a range of businesses and services across Fife to help them reduce short and long-term absence, minimise the risk of accidents and near misses and increase worker engagement.  Not only does this support a healthier, happier workforce but also makes financial sense, with workplaces making cost savings as a result.

We also support the education of students and pupils to live healthier lifestyle, recently visiting Fife Colleges’ Levenmouth Campus and working closely with college staff.

For more details on all aspects of our service see our Health Promotion Service leaflet  or contact us on 01592 226484 or fife_uhb.healthpromotion@nhs.net and we will direct you to the right person to meet your needs.


Fife Carer Strategy Consultation launched

Are you an unpaid carer?   Fife has launched a six week ‘Fife Carer Strategy Consultation’ to hear your views and capture feedback on what matters to you.

Fife Carer Strategy

There is a large number of people who support or care for family and friends on a regular basis in an unpaid capacity, giving freely of their time and energy. Their dedication is enormously valuable and their support helps a large number of people to live in their own homes and communities.

In April 2018 the Scottish Government will implement the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership is developing a Carers Strategy for 2018-2021 to support unpaid carers in the Kingdom.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership gives more details:  “We know that unpaid carers play a vital role in our communities.  When it comes to shaping services and knowing how we can improve the carers’ experience of health and social care, we are taking a proactive approach.

Fife’s strategy must reflect and respond to unpaid carers needs now and in the years ahead, so we need to know what to change, adapt, do more of, or stop doing.  The consultation actively seeks carers’ input as we need to hear about what matters and makes a difference to them so whatever we do now and in the future is effective and meaningful as possible.  This consultation is an opportunity for unpaid carers to have their voice heard and I encourage as many unpaid carers to take part as possible.”

Mhairi Lochhead from Fife Carers Centre, welcomed the approach:

“It is really important that carers are able to say what their experience of services are, what helps or what could make a difference. Many carers might not think to take part in the consultation, but for Fife’s Carer Strategy to be effective, carers need to say what is important to them. We will be encouraging and supporting carers to respond to the consultation, to help ensure as wide a range of views as possible are gathered.”

Get involved

The consultation runs from 8 January until the 23 February 2018.   Click here to take part on-line.

To request a hard copy contact Scott Fissenden on 03451 55 55 55 ext 401698 or

e-mail:  CarersActSurvey@fife.gov.uk


Thank you – staff work round the clock to keep services going

Winter time is always challenging for front line health and social care teams and the last few weeks have been busier than ever.   Health and social care teams have made a phenomenal effort over the festive period and continue to do so in the coming weeks of winter.

Teams at Queen Margaret Hospital

Michael Kellet, Director of Health and Social Care stated:   “I visited both Queen Margaret Hospital and Glenrothes Hospital to speak to colleagues who have been working over the festive period including physiotherapists, in-patient wards, ICASS, hospital at home, hospital social work teams and many more, all of whom have gone above and beyond in the face of increased demand to keep people safe.   This also includes our partners in the third and independent sector across our care homes and home care services who were very responsive to the demand, at very short notice.  Thank you to all staff involved and to the public for their patience during this time.”

It is important to thank members of the public for the role they continue to play in supporting colleagues in NHS Fife by utilising alternative options to A&E, where appropriate. The advice remains the same as always – A&E does not stand for Anything and Everything. If a condition is very serious, or potentially life threatening, then A&E provides the best available care. However, if a condition is less serious then there are a range of services available such as Minor Injuries Units, NHS 24 or local pharmacies. If advice is needed on which service to use, visit www.nhsfife.org/knowwhototurnto or speak to your local pharmacist.

If you need social care support: