Published: 07/07/2017 05:52 - Updated: 06/07/2017 16:30

Short-term changes to women and children's care at Moray's hospital

NHS Grampian is investigating temporary options for the delivery of paediatric, obstetrics and gynaecology services at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

The move was prompted by a shortage of new trainee doctors applying to work in those areas at Moray’s flagship hospital.

Concerns have been raised that pregnant women who would normally be booked in to have their babies at Dr Gray’s may have to go to Aberdeen or Inverness to give birth.

Gary Mortimer, director of acute services for NHS Grampian, said: "Each year, at the beginning of August, the trainee doctors change over.

"This is frequently challenging but this year there is a particular shortage of applicants to these specialities at Dr Gray’s.

"We are utterly committed to maintaining the highest standards of care and safety which is why we are now looking at how we deliver these services."

Mr Mortimer added: "We must stress that absolutely no decisions have been made about the long term service and that any interim changes will be temporary.

"Over the next few weeks we will be unrelenting in our efforts to identify and recruit additional permanent and locum staff.

"We are however making sure that we have contingency options in place in case those efforts are unsuccessful.

"We will work closely with our staff and partner agencies, such as the Scottish Ambulance Service, to develop those plans."

He said: "I also want to be clear that these temporary measures have been prompted by recruitment difficulties and not based on financial considerations.

"We continue to invest in the local services in Moray and the financial resources are there to recruit additional staff if we are able to identify suitable candidates."

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