NHS Fife used none of its funding allocated to deal with Long Covid in 2022/23, figures have revealed.

Statistics analysed by the Scottish Liberal Democrats show just three Scottish health boards, Lanarkshire, Orkney and the Western Isles, used all of their funding for the condition in 2022-23.

Fife was one of four which did not use a penny of theirs.

A spokesperson for NHS Fife stressed that support for Long Covid sufferers was still available despite the lack of spending.

READ MORE: Renewed call for ferry link from Rosyth to Europe

They explained: "Due to the temporary nature of the funding and well reported national recruitment challenges we were unable to spend the allocated Long Covid budget.

"But despite that, we should emphasise anyone who needed support was still able to the access services they needed.

"Since then, we have adapted our Long Covid service to fall under the umbrella of other long term conditions management and existing pathways of care.

"Existing staff have also been upskilled to further future proof our delivery of Long Covid support for Fifers."

Commenting on the figures, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said much of the "staggering underspend" was down to the SNP Government’s failure to commit to supporting health boards in the long term.

He accused First Minister Humza Yousaf of “hiding behind the excuse” of staffing, after he said last year the underspend was due to delays in recruiting posts.

“We also know that the Government now plans to stretch Long Covid funding over five years rather than three, with the total funding available remaining unchanged," he said.

READ MORE: New speed limits implemented on Dunfermline roads

“This lacklustre and incoherent approach is an insult to those ordinary Scots who face breathing difficulties, crushing fatigue, and any number of other debilitating symptoms associated with the condition.”

“In England, new care pathways are already up and running but in Scotland we are far behind.

“I want to see the Scottish Government changing tack and working with health boards to ensure funding can be put to use to help all those in need.

“This starts by addressing obstacles that would otherwise prevent key funding from being spent.”

Public health minister Jenni Minto said the Scottish Government takes Long Covid "very seriously” and recognises the impact it can have on those affected.

“Thanks to backing from our £10 million Long Covid Support Fund, 12 out of 14 NHS boards have active Long Covid pathways in operation, and elsewhere well-established referral pathways exist to a range of services which can provide support to people with symptoms resulting from Long Covid," she added.

READ MORE: Cruise ship to leave Rosyth shores after four year stay in West Fife

“Boards didn’t need to use all of the money made available to them over the first year of the fund but we remain committed to delivering the fund in full.

“The vast majority of boards have now accessed the funds available or increased the amount spent.

“We regularly engage with boards on their capacity needs and to inform the allocation of the fund. We will consider baselining funding at a level based on progress made over 2023-24.”