MSP Claire Baker has hit out at the “unacceptable and clearly unsustainable” GP crisis facing Fife as 25% of GP practices in the health board are full and Lochgelly is one of the worst hit communities.

There are currently 18 GP practices with full lists in the Kingdom. Worst hit are Kirkcaldy with all seven practices having full lists, Lochgelly with all three practices full, and Dunfermline with four out of five practices full.

According to official NHS Fife papers, Dr Morris & Partners in Kirkcaldy is considered to be “a high risk situation” as it has failed to fill a post vacant for the past two years. According to the document, on GP resigned in December 2016 and another retired in March 2017, with “no interest in either post”.

Lochgelly Medical Practice is also considered “a high risk situation” following no interest in two available posts. According to the NHS Fife document, on GP resigned in October 2017 with another retiring in March 2018. A further five practices are facing recruitment difficulties.

A recent advert for an out-of-hour GPs in Fife did not return a single application.

Kelty woman Claire Baker MSP said: “The failure to recruit GPs just confirms what we have known all along, Fife is in the midst of a GP crisis.

“We know that two practices in Lochgelly and Kirkcaldy are considered to be a high risk situation with a further five facing difficulties in recruitment. This is unacceptable and clearly unsustainable in the long term".

She added: “Also that a quarter of all GPs in Fife are considered full, including every GP in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly is staggering, This is the stark reality of a GP crisis that has been growing rather than getting better,

“Ultimately it is patients who will suffer as they struggle to get appointments. Yet instead of taking charge, the Government and NHS Fife would rather dodge responsibility.

“With not a single doctor coming forward to apply for the recently advertised out-of-hours vacancies, both NHS Fife and the Scottish Government have questions to answer as to why.

“We urgently need solutions to Fife’s GP crisis for patients today.”

NHS Fife maintain that they are working hard with practices which have vacancies to attract new recruits to the Kingdom and fill vacancies at practices such as in Lochgelly while the Scottish Government has a programme to tackle the issue throughout Scotland and intends to have 800 new GPs within a timespan of 10 years.