WITH the population of the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area set to rise by more than 3,000 people in the next two years pressure is being mounted to create an accident and emergency unit closer to growing population.

Since 2012 the Dunfermline, West and Central Fife areas have had to use the A&E unit at the Victoria in Kirkcaldy now, however, Cllr Gavin Ellis, who represents the Dunfermline North Ward in which the Queen Margaret Hospital sits, is seeking to have this changed as Dunfermline itself has plans which will see more than 2,500 new homes built.

Meanwhile Kelty is scheduled to see 900 new homes, Cowdenbeath more than 100, Benarty the same number and more than 150 in Lochgelly.

Cllr Ellis said: “We have seen such an increase in housing and population across West and Central Fife that it has left our services struggling such as GP’s and not to mention education.”

All the health centres in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area are struggling to replace GPs who have left.

Cllr Ellis has written an open letter to Jeane Freeman MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport calling for a fresh look into the A&E situation at the Queen Margaret.

In it he said: "We are now seven years on and in those seven years there has been large scale home building across Central and West Fife, much of it in Dunfermline which now has a population of over 55,000 and counting. We are still to see further developments being built across the West Fife villages, Dunfermline, Kelty, and many other areas. Many facilities such as GP practices and schools are already under pressure from the increase in residents.

"As our population grows so does the number of accidents; only last week on June 28 we had a resident fall ill in a vehicle on the road right next to the Dunfermline Queen Margaret. This patient was treated by ambulance staff and then transported 12 miles to the A&E at the Victoria in Kirkcaldy. This is simply not good enough and could have cost a life".

Councillor Ellis feels very strongly that it is the right for this to be highlighted: “I like many other residents feel the time is right to have another look at the A&E facility at our Queen Margaret and recent incidents have highlighted this.

"Only a little while back we had a gentleman take ill and have a road accident just beside the Queen Margaret, yet he was transported by ambulance to the Victoria.

"I don’t think this is good enough anymore and neither do many residents, lives could be lost. Dunfermline is growing as are the other towns and villages nearby, and with the substantial housing and road networks being built we are going to need the services to cope, the Victoria cannot continue to carry the burden alone.

"All I am asking for is a review that takes our future growth onboard and that all scenarios will be looked at regarding future health provision.”