Patients in Lochgelly have some of the worst experiences in Fife and Tayside when it comes to GP services. A league table for 122 GP surgeries in the region puts Lochgelly Health Centre in last place for patient satisfaction with seeing their GP.

Published in yesterday’s Courier, the Health and Care Experience Survey 2015/2016 of more than 100,000 people across the country revealed:

  • The GP practices at Lochgelly Health Centre and Lochgelly Medical Group, together with the Crossgates Medical practice and the Cowdenbeath Medical Practice, rated worst in Fife and Tayside for ease of phone contact, with almost two-thirds of patients finding it difficult to speak to the surgery by phone.
  • Lochgelly Health Centre was second only to the Lochore Medical Centre in Benarty as the worst in terms of allowing patients to see or speak to a doctor within two days, with one third of patients who needed to unable to do so.
  • Only two fifths of patients at Lochgelly Medical Group and half of patients at Lochgelly Health Centre who want to see a doctor within three days manage to do so.
  • The overall experience of seeing a doctor at Lochgelly Health Centre was rated the lowest (at 31.3 %) for the whole of Fife and Tayside.

The figures show that people face what the Courier calls a “postcode lottery” in primary care in terms of the length of time they have to wait for treatment at their local surgeries. By way of comparison, the stats for access and satisfaction with GP services for affluent areas like Comrie or Dunkeld hit 100% while those for St Andrews were in the 90s.

A postcode lottery suggests that ease of access to GP services is random, but in fact the stats indicate that it is closely correlated with levels of economic and social deprivation. In other words, Lochgelly, like other areas in Central Fife, Leven and Dundee, suffers a double whammy – existing social, economic and health inequalities are being compounded by inequalities in primary care provision.

GP Practice Reports

Download: Lochgelly Medical Group- Lochgelly
Download: Dr K Thompson- Lochgelly
Download: Drs McKean & Sweeney, Lochgelly Health Centre – Lochgelly
Full Documents (URL):

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  1. Linda Holt

    June 12, 2016 at 12:09 am

    This isn’t a blame game as far as individual GP practices go, and I feel really sorry for the people who work at the practices that did badly in this survey. In places like Lochgelly, it is absolutely not the fault of the staff. They must be having some of the least rewarding, most stressful experiences in Fife/Tayside, dealing with patients who are irate and desperate to see a doctor when none is available. The availability of GPs does not lie within the gift of those working at GP practices – it is down to policy-makers, which means NHS Fife and the Scottish Government. What I don’t understand is why our elected representatives, particularly the Labour ones (Councillors Erskine & Hood, MSP & former Fife Council leader Alex Rowley) who have made health a key issue, have been happy to ignore the massive injustice in GP access (and its contribution to wider health inequalities) in their areas for so long. It’s not as if their constituents haven’t been telling there is a problem.


  2. G. Reid

    June 14, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Kinda shocking when you read the results. I feel sorry for the staff as well as the patients. I remember it used to take about 2 wks to get an appointment, this crept up to 3 wks, and recently its crept up to 3-4 wks. I know that when I do get an appointment, the GP seems stressed, I end up trying to get my ailments along in the shortest possible time, the GP is obviously harried, and the whole experience is unsatisfactory for both participants. Others are reporting the same situation.

    Another area of concern is the absolute lack of social care for elderly and disabled people, the cut-backs have been so severe that some people who would have obviously qualified for care have now been totally abandoned. People well into their 70’s with severe disabilities have been left to cope on their own. The system is obviously crumbling in certain services and areas.

    As for the level of deprivation in these areas, I’m now wondering what the various political parties have ever really done for us. We’ve had the same party returned to power over and over again in this area, yet we continue to face the same levels of deprivation over and over again.

    On a personal level, I’m fed-up with some of the bully-boy tactics and constant manipulations of some local Councillors. We now have a whole system of cronyism within certain power bases. Half a dozen men all belonging to the same party, same organisation getting together and running the town. What the hell happened to so-called democracy. We’re needing a clean-sweep.


    • Linda Holt

      June 27, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Spot on Mr Reid. It really is a disgrace that Lochgelly is still lagging so far behind for health and social services – and that this is getting worse. I share your cynicism about the local politicians. With a bit of luck the local Labour Councillors will lose their jobs come the next election, as the Labour MP and Labour constituency MSP did in the last two elections. They certainly deserve to, given their astounding inaction in addressing health, social & economic inequalities in the area.


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