MSP Alex Rowley has called on Fife Council, NHS Fife and the Scottish Government to come together and find a solution to the shortfall in the budget of the Health and Social Care Partnership in Fife.

Answering a question from Mr Rowley back in December last year, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, acknowledged that that the joint board in Fife responsible for delivering health and social care had been set up with a deficit in funding from the outset and said she would examine options for addressing this.

The Fife Labour MSP has now written to the CEO’s of NHS Fife and Fife Council asking why the shortfall happened in the first place, and, what action is planned to bring the Fife board into line with other boards across Scotland.

He said: “Back in December I was pleased that there was an acknowledgement that the core budget for health and social care in Fife had been set up with a built-in deficit but I am frustrated that nothing seems to have been done to address this problem.

“Many individuals and families will have experienced the difficulty in getting a care package and getting support in the community. In my view this is getting worse not better and is why this deficit must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"Even then it will continue to be difficult but at least Fife will be on the same funding footing as the rest of Scotland and not continuing to carry a deficit".

He added: “NHS Fife and Fife Council must address this issue and I do hope councillors will be pressing the officials in the council to do so. NHS Fife must also be held to account and answer how they intend to address the issue.”

In his letter to Steve Grimmond, CEO of Fife Council, Mr Rowley said: "I am keen to understand how this legacy came about. Was it because of not enough funding from NHS or Fife Council or both.

"And of more importance what is going to be done to ensure that the budget for health and social care in Fife is brought up to a level which is deemed to be in line with all other IJBs across the country?"