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Douglas Ross MP receives reassurances over Moray maternity review report

By Lorna Thompson

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A REPORT on maternity services in Moray is expected to go before the Scottish Parliament within weeks.

Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross received the reassurance from Minister for Public Health Maree Todd, who has also agreed to meet local politicians and Keep MUM campaigners on conclusion of the Independent Review into Maternity Services in Moray.

Mr Ross wrote to the Scottish Government following a visit on July 7 and 8 to Dr Gray's Hospital by the maternity review services group, led by Ralph Roberts, to hear evidence for the review.

For three years now mums-to-be have faced round trips of more than 100 miles to give birth in Aberdeen or Inverness since the downgrading at Dr Gray’s in July 2018 due to staff shortages.

Mr Ross said: "I asked for more detail over the process for the report being publicised after it is received by ministers.

"This is a vital review which we all hope will see the urgent restoration of a consultant-led maternity unit at Dr Gray’s.

"Like many people in Moray, I gave evidence to this review and I want to ensure the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to debate the findings so they can be scrutinised by politicians.

Dr Gray's Hospital, in Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Dr Gray's Hospital, in Elgin. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

"Campaigners such as Keep MUM and local people here in Moray also need to know the outcome of the review and the Scottish Government’s response as soon as possible following its publication."

He added: "I welcome the fact that the minister will meet with me and other representatives along with Keep MUM as I know there will be a lot of interest in this report and the next steps.

"It is absolutely crucial that this report is made public so it can be properly scrutinised, and I’m pleased the minister for health has confirmed that the initial findings will be available soon. However, it is concerning that she cannot give any firm timescale for when the recommendations will be published or put in place.

"Returning a full consultant-led maternity service to Moray is vital and I’m glad the Scottish Government is committed to this, but it needs to happen as a matter of urgency.

"I look forward to seeing what the report says and I will continue to do all I can to see the consultant-led unit return to Moray where it is desperately needed. It is just not acceptable that women in labour should have to travel to Aberdeen to give birth.

"Staff in Elgin have continued to provide an outstanding service during a very difficult period but they need support, and I hope the review group reiterates the need for our maternity services to be restored to full strength as soon as possible."

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