Access Therapies Fife – launch of new mental health website

One in four of us in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year – and the most common mental health difficulties are stress, anxiety and depression. To make it easier for adults in Fife to obtain psychological help for common emotional problems we’ve launched a new website, Access Therapies Fife.

Research has shown that people can really benefit from attending courses and working with groups to learn new skills to manage stress, anxiety, low moods or how to become more confident and assertive – these changes and skills can lead to improvements in mental health. Taking this first step by using the help and advice tools available may also avoid the waits sometimes associated with going through your GP or another health professional.

What does the website offer:

  • Courses – Step on Stress, Back on Trac, Assertiveness and Improving Well-being – these courses help to focus on the relationships between thoughts, behaviours and feelings and how to deal with these.
  • Change Up – a weekly therapy group which helps people overcome a range of emotional problems.
  • Self-help options.
  • Information on local support and resources.

All courses and groups are held across Fife and run regularly throughout the year.

This new website will make it easier and quicker for adults across Fife to access high quality psychological help – the options available are important additions to the psychological services provided in Fife,” said Dr Frances Baty, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Adult Health Psychology, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership

At the launch of the new website at Lynebank Hospital, Julie Paterson, Divisional General Manager (Fife-wide), Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added, “Within the mental health service we hope to help people achieve their aspirations, while offering help when they need it. This website is a significant development in psychological therapies through self-referral and builds on our ambition to remove barriers that deter people from seeking help”.

For info:
Access Therapies website –


Dr Frances Baty| Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Adult Mental Health Psychology, Fife

Hazel Williamson| Communications Officer, Health & Social Care Partnership


Carers Strategy for Fife 2018-2021 – check out the improvements to support carers in Fife

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into effect on 1 April 2018.  The Act places new duties to identify and support carers.

The duties include:

  • offering an Adult Carers Support Plan or Young Carers Statement;
  • supporting carers of people who are being discharged from hospital to become involved in pre-discharge decisions, and
  • provide universal information, advice, guidance and advocacy support to carers.

Fife’s Health and Social Care partnership has consulted with carers and developed and published a Carers Strategy for Fife 2018 – 2021.  It demonstrates the commitments we will make in Fife to improve support for carers as well as helping carers to become more self-sufficient in helping themselves.

For more information about the improvements being made to support Fife’s carers, contact Scott Fissenden by e-mailing


Out of Hours Contingency Measures To Continue

Contingency measures for the overnight Primary Care Emergency Services (PCES) in Fife are to continue.

NOTE:  From 6.00pm to midnight (Monday to Friday) and 8.00am to midnight (weekends & public holidays) PCES will continue to be delivered as normal from:

  • Queen Margaret Community Hospital, Dunfermline
  • Glenrothes Community Hospital, Glenrothes
  • St Andrews Community Hospital
  • Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

There will continue to be no changes to the operation of the Minor Injuries Unit at Queen Margaret Hospital.

The contingency measures apply between midnight to 8am, where Primary Care Emergency Services (commonly known as Out of Hours) will be only be available at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy. The contingency measures were put in place on 9 April for a period of 3 months.   They will be extended for a period of a further six months with a full review to take place at the end of January 2019.

The move is a result of on-going nursing and medical staffing difficulties and has been taken to ensure patient safety.

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership states: “The on-going challenges we face have left us with no other option but to extend the contingency measures to ensure patient safety.  We have taken and will continue to take every step available to us to try and resume services. This includes advertising to recruit Nursing and GP staff and working with GP leads to encourage our existing workforce to support the service wherever possible.”

Over the contingency period out of hours service activity has seen continued to see an average of 11 people attend the Victoria Hospital overnight an average of 8 home visits.

Michael continued:  “Fife like many other areas of Scotland is experiencing the impact of national shortages of key staff in this area.  In response we have put in place the contingency measures to ensure a safe and reliable service.  In addition, we must look at solutions to secure safe and sustainable services in the immediate and long term.  This requires transformation of traditional health and social care ways of working and service models.

“We will launch the Joining Up Care consultation on the 2 July 2018 to that end.   Through the consultation we want to hear the widest range of voices possible from right across Fife.  From the North East to the South West and everywhere in-between, we are open to hearing ideas and suggestions as to how sustainable services can be developed at a local and Fife wide level. This includes the re-design of Out of Hours as one of three main programmes of change. The consultation will last 14 weeks and the re-design of Out of Hours care is one of three main programmes of change.  I would like to pay tribute to staff in PCES for the on-going commitment to the people of Fife during this period of uncertainty and change.”

Find out what this means for you in the Primary Care Emergency Service Frequently Asked Questions.



Scottish Government announce £632k Health & Work Support pilot

To increase health and employability support for people living with disabilities and health conditions, a pilot Health & Work Support service has been launched across Fife and Dundee.

Health & Work Support will streamline existing health and employability services by providing a single point of contact for those at risk of falling out of work or who have recently left due to ill health. The service will help more people stay at work, get back into work and tackle inequalities in the labour market by providing advice and support to employers on health, disability and work issues.

The Scottish Government will invest £632,000 in the service with additional funding coming from the UK Government.

Launching the service, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“Every year, thousands of people in Scotland leave their jobs as a result of a health condition or disability. We want to provide early support to enable more people to stay in employment before they reach this point.

“Health & Work Support will act as a single point of contact for health and work support for people in Fife and Dundee, as well as employers, and will allow them to get fast access to the help they need.

“This new service integrates healthcare and employability support so that individuals with disabilities or health conditions can benefit from a service that more closely matches their needs.”

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said:

‘‘Fife Health and Social Care Partnership recognises the importance of employment in maintaining health and well-being and is delighted to be able to host this innovative pilot project here in Fife. We recognise the work that has gone into making this happen and wish the project every success.’’

Chairman of the Integration Joint Board, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, Councillor Ken Lynn said:

‘‘This is an extremely important development and I am pleased that Dundee is helping to trial the project along with Fife. We are working hard to make Dundee a better place for everyone, and that means not leaving anyone behind. We want to help all those who wish to get back into work, or remain in work. I will be very interested to see the progress this scheme will make for people in the months ahead.’’


Internet Safety guidance for adults with autism or learning disability first of its kind in Scotland

Staying safe online has never been more important.  For some adults who have autism or a learning disability navigating the internet safely and legally can be complex.

To support them, carers and family members, Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee and child protection charity, Stop It Now! Scotland, have produced a resource pack, the first resource of its kind in Scotland, which provides vital guidance and advice. Just as importantly, the pack also educates in an easy read format. (Stop it Now! Scotland is a child sexual abuse prevention campaign run by child protection charity, The Lucy Faithfull Foundation).

Alan Small, Chair of the Fife’s Adult Support and Protection Committee, talks about the process and engagement that went into developing the materials:

“Internet safety, accessing inappropriate child imagery and the risk of grooming is a very sensitive subject.   It is important that we educate and guide all adults on this topic. In particular ensuring that those who may be more at risk or susceptible to the misuse of the internet because of an additional vulnerability are given guidance and advice how to keep themselves and others safe. This includes providing guidance around the inappropriate and unlawful sharing or use of child images.

The resource is a suite of documents which uses direct and simple language supported by photographs and simple line drawings, so they are very accessible and easy to read.  These are the tools we will use to help develop awareness and importantly a full understanding of what is the right and wrong use of the internet: what is inappropriate and unlawful: how to keep safe: and the actions and behaviours that can have serious consequences. All in a simple and easy to understand format.  This is the result of many months of hard work and many conversations and we would wish to thank everyone involved, particularly people we worked with how may use the resource and their families.”

To keep people safe and reduce and prevent offending in this way, the project involved working very closely with Stop It Now! Scotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Autism, Autism Rocks and other relevant organisations. Consulting widely over the course of a year ensured the views of a range of people including professionals such as adult and child protection practitioners as well as members of the public with an interest in the subject.

National Manager for Stop it Now! Scotland, Stuart Allardyce, said:

“Our focus has always been to prevent children from being sexually abused, both online and offline. That’s why we work tirelessly to make people aware that accessing sexual images of anyone under 18 online is both illegal and harmful to the children in the images. But until now, there has been no resource specifically for adults in Scotland with learning disabilities. So we were delighted to work with colleagues on the Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee to produce this resource that fills a real gap in child safeguarding. The resource pack will play a vital role in keeping children in Scotland safe from online abuse. And just as importantly, it will help keep vulnerable adults in Scotland safe from getting into trouble online.”

Resources available are:

Copies of the new resources are available online at: and at on the ‘Internet Safety’ section.

Paper copies for Fife organisations can be requested by emailing: or call 03451 55 55 55 ext 442134.

Partnership Board to consider ‘Joining Up Care’ consultation proposal

On the 22 May 2018, Members of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership Board will be asked to consider and approve a proposal for consultation on the transformation of health and social care services.

Set out in 3 parts, the ‘Joining Up Care’ consultation is in response to the:

  • growing demand for services
  • increasing complex care needs
  • publics’ desire to live well at home for longer, and;
  • national recommendations

The 3 parts are as follows:

Part 1: Community and Wellbeing Hubs

Introduce more joined up ways of working between professionals to co-ordinate care and appointments, help reduce waiting times and improve the care experience through proactive intervention and working locally in communities.

Part 2: Re-designing Out of Hours Urgent Care

When the GP surgery is shut, these are the services that see members of the public who are looking for a GP or a nurse (advice, treatment centre care and home visits).  As well as minor injury services and the evening and night District Nursing service. It is important to state, that this is not Accident and Emergency at the hospital.

There are two options being proposed within this section. They will both have:

An Urgent Care Resource Hub

Will be an area where staff from a number of health and social care urgent services work together to coordinate service delivery. It will direct how services work in the out of hours period to make best use of resources and support so people access the right service as quickly as possible.

Urgent Care Centre(s)

This will deliver urgent care in a safe place that the public can go to. It will provide GP services, and minor injury services and can act as a base for a range of other urgent care services.

These changes are being proposed in response to the national and local challenges in regards to GP shortages, national recommendations in regards to Out of Hours and are to ensure the on-going clinical safety of patients.  The proposal does not relate to in-hours minor injuries service provision.

Part 3:   Bringing Care Closer to Home – Community Hospital bed based care

Once people no longer need hospital care, it is better for them to get home or continue their care journey in a homely setting as quickly as possible. We know our current model could be more efficient, as some people are staying in hospital for longer than their needs require. We need to move some of our resources from hospitals to community based teams and provide care at home or in homely settings.

The aim is to:

  • Support people to leave hospital earlier
  • Proactively support people at home or in a homely setting so they can regain skills and confidence and stay independent for longer
  • Make sure people have access to the right type of bed at the right time, wherever they live in Fife, and;
  • Focus the use of Community Hospital beds on people with complex health conditions who need round the clock nursing care.

The proposal is to seek the public’s thoughts on the Partnership’s initial thinking where they are seeking to redefine models of care, considering where care should be in a hospital bed and where else people could best be cared for to improve their experience.

The collective goal of the ‘Joining Up Care’ proposition is to establish a fully integrated 24 hours, 7 days a week community health and social care model that ensures sustainable, safe and more individual experience of care.  If approved, the proposals will go forward for a 14 week public consultation.

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership explains:

“From the youngest to the oldest, the fittest to the frailest we want people to live well in Fife. Ensuring the right care, from the right person at the right time is vital, whether this is responding to a poorly child after the GP is shut, being more proactive to support independence and wellbeing or giving complex round the clock medical care to those with long term conditions.

We know people value their local services highly, but the challenges are such that leaving services as they are is not a safe, sustainable or responsible option.  To meet modern demands, we need to adapt systems and change ways of working that have been in place for many years. We need to join care across communities and hospital services so we can continue to respond to peoples’ physical, emotional and social needs.  This includes peoples’ desire to stay independent and at home for longer.    We must also think of frontline staff and the increasing pressures they face.

“The future of Fife’s integrated care services involves all of us all.  By bringing together the review of Urgent Care Out of Hours, development of community health and wellbeing hubs and community hospital re-design under one ‘Joining Up Care’ proposal, the aim is to create a comprehensive approach to evolving services, one which will involve full consultation with the public before any change is made.  We await the decision by Members on the 22 May.”

Full copies of the ‘Joining Up Care’ Consultation proposal papers are now available on Fife Direct.    A draft ‘Joining Up Care’ Consultation Summary document is included and you can find that here.



Fife hospital tests new model of housing help for homeless patients 

Homeless people attending A&E at a Fife hospital are to be given specialist housing advice as part of a ground-breaking service delivered by charity Shelter Scotland and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

It’s hoped the new service can improve the lives of patients with multiple and complex needs and save vital NHS resources by getting the right advice to people in hospitals who might otherwise not seek out help with housing problems.

Two specialist advisers will be based at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy during the two-year trial which has its formal launch today (23 April 2018).

Alison Watson, Deputy Director for Shelter Scotland, said:  

“People experiencing homelessness are more likely to suffer from ill-health and the lack of stable, suitable accommodation is a big factor in this. A good home is fundamental to our health and well-being.

“This project aims to demonstrate how improved links between healthcare and housing can deliver better health for patients and be more cost effective for the NHS by cutting the number of repeat visits.”

The project is backed by £173,000 of funding with the majority being supplied by Shelter Scotland with contributions from Fife HSCP and Fife Council.

Homeless people are 3.8 times more likely to attend A&E and 2.2 times more likely to be admitted to hospital than people who are settled in a home of their own.

During the project health staff will refer patients who are homeless or at immediate risk of losing their home to Shelter Scotland advisers in the hospital who will work with them to resolve housing issues. Among the expected benefits are a reduction in delayed discharge cases.

In the first six weeks the service has seen 19 people benefit, with the majority of patients only having to wait 24 hours before they leave hospital rather than the average six weeks.

Michael Kellet, Director of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said:  “We are delighted to be working with Shelter Scotland to bring this vital initiative to Fife. The early signs are positive.

“People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness often have varied and complex needs.  By partnering with Shelter Scotland, we are working together to support people into safe and appropriate accommodation earlier.

“By working as one team our aim is to help prevent re-admissions, and attendances at the Emergency Department by supporting the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable in our community. I look forward to watching the programme progress over the next 12 months.”

Tricia Marwick, Chair, NHS Fife, said:

“I am pleased to officially mark the launch of an initiative which sees Fife take partnership and new ways of working to the next level.

“We cannot underestimate the value this will bring to people who potentially could be facing an uncertain or unstable future when leaving hospital.  Frontline staff will benefit too as they are reassured that the person leaving the hospital door will go into a more secure and stable environment which they can hopefully call home.”

Those who receive help from the Intervention Service will be asked for their feedback to help health and housing services work more effectively together in the future.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland will provide improvement advice and support to help in the planning of the project and in evaluation of the service.

Dianne Foster, Associate Improvement Advisor, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: 

“We are delighted to be invited by Shelter Scotland, NHS Fife and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership to support this innovative project.

“Being able to demonstrate the impact and outcome of new ways of working is not easy and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Shelter Scotland, providing support to the local team to build their knowledge and skills around improvement and to consider how best to evaluate this new service.”

Overnight Primary Care Emergency Services in Fife – Contingency measures

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership are introducing contingency measures overnight in the Primary Care Emergency Services (PCES) in response to nursing and medical staffing difficulties.

Patient safety is our primary concern and measures have been put in place to ensure services are being provided with safe levels of nursing and medical staffing.

PCES (commonly called Out-of-Hours services) provides urgent care to the people of Fife when GP practices are closed. Contact with the service is via NHS24 (freephone 111), with urgent care provided by a team of healthcare professionals in centres across Fife.

From Monday, 9 April, 2018, all PCES centres will continue to operate as normal from 6.00pm to midnight (Monday to Friday) and 8.00am to midnight (weekends & public holidays).  However, overnight, from midnight to 8am, no PCES services will be delivered at:

  • Queen Margaret Community Hospital, Dunfermline
  • Glenrothes Community Hospital, Glenrothes
  • St Andrews Community Hospital

Overnight PCES services will be available at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.   This contingency measure will be in place for a three month period.

There will be no changes to the operation of the Minor Injuries Unit at Queen Margaret Hospital, which will continue as normal.

Fife Health & Social Care Partnership continues to make every effort to resolve clinical staffing difficulties as quickly as possible.

Dr Alan McGovern, Clinical Director (West Division), Fife Health and Social Care Partnership stated:

Dr Alan McGovern, Clinical Director

“The safety of every single patient is in Fife is our first priority.  As with most areas in Scotland, difficulty in recruiting GPs and Primary Care medical staff for out of hours work has put enormous pressure on delivering the service.

“In Fife, the out of hours service has only been able to maintain cover through daily monitoring and enormous efforts by all staff.   Unfortunately we are now in a position where we are unable to cover all the overnight shifts, meaning we have had to move to contingency measures to ensure patient safety.  Between midnight and 8.00am, around 11 people attend Queen Margaret Hospital, Glenrothes Hospital and St Andrews centres in any one night. They will now go to the centre at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.   Home visits, for those who require them, will not be affected. These contingency measures will be reviewed in three months.”

The longer term plans for Fife’s Out of Hours services

The current Out of Hours services (PCES) service in Fife is experiencing:

  • Reducing numbers of GPs and Nurses available to work evenings, holidays and weekends.
  • Clinical and professional skills being spread across 4 centres, and;
  • An inability to ensure a sustainable and safe level of response for the public if the model continues in its current shape

To address these issues, clinical staff and partners across Fife are working to develop a longer term solution for urgent care services alongside other proposals for more joined up care in Fife and hope to consult on those plans later this year.

Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said:

“We’ve had to take immediate action in relation to Primary Care Emergency Services in Fife to ensure we can continue to deliver a clinically safe and sustainable service over the next few months.  As we do so we will continue to develop our plans for the longer term measure for urgent care.  We will consult the public on those longer term plans before any permanent decisions are made.”

Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions.



Duty of Candour

From the beginning of April it will be a legal requirement for health, care and social work providers to inform people (and their families) when they have been harmed physically or psychologically as a result of the care or treatment they have received.

Organisations will also be required to review each incident and consider support available to those affected.

You can find out more on these pages about the Duty of Candour provisions along with useful links to other information and support, including LearnPro modules.

The duty of candour provisions in Part 2 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 were given Royal Assent on April 6, 2016 and regulations setting out the procedure have been published. They come into force on 1 April 2018.

What is the duty?
A legal requirement for health and social care organisations to inform people (and their families) when they have been harmed (either physically or psychologically) as a result of the care or treatment they have received.

To whom does the duty apply
All health and social care providers, including Health Boards.

When does it apply?
If an unintended or unexpected incident occurred in the provision of a health service, a care service or a social work service to the person, and in the reasonable opinion of a registered health professional that:

  • that the incident appears to have resulted in or could result in one of the specific outcomes listed in the act
  • that the outcome relates directly to the incident rather than to the natural course of the person’s illness or underlying condition.

What outcomes trigger the duty?

  • the death of the person,
  • a permanent lessening of bodily, sensory, motor, physiologic or intellectual functions (including removal of the wrong limb or organ or brain damage) (“severe harm”),
  • harm which is not severe harm but which results in: (i) an increase in the person’s treatment, (ii) changes to the structure of the person’s body, (iii) the shortening of the life expectancy of the person,
  • an impairment of the sensory, motor or intellectual functions of the person which has lasted, or is likely to last, for a continuous period of at least 28 days,
  • the person experiencing pain or psychological harm which has been, or is likely to be, experienced by the person for a continuous period of at least 28 days,
  • the person requiring treatment by a registered health professional in order to prevent one or more of the outcomes mentioned above.

What must be done?

In respect of an incident, the responsible person (i.e. the Health Board) must give the relevant person*

  • an account of the incident insofar as the responsible person is aware of the facts at that date
  • an explanation of the actions that the responsible person will take as part of the duty of candour procedure; and
  • where the procedure start date is later than one month after the date on which the incident occurred, an explanation of the reason for this.

The responsible person must:

  • offer a written apology to the relevant person,
  • invite the relevant person to attend a meeting, and set out the information to be provided to the relevant person during and after such a meeting,
  • carry out a review of the circumstances which it considers led, or contributed, to the incident,
  • provide training and support to relevant employees,
  • keep a written record for each incident


* Relevant person means either the person who has received the health service or, where that person has died or lacks capacity, a person acting on their behalf.


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 and we will direct you to the right person to meet your needs.