Work to fully restore Dr Gray's Hospital maternity services to continue despite pause on NHS Grampian projects
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WORK to restore a consultant-led maternity service at Dr Gray's Hospital will continue despite funding challenges.
Last week, NHS Grampian confirmed that work on a new MRI suite as well as refurbishment of the Elgin hospital's mental health ward will be paused indefinitely due to uncertainties regarding Scottish Government funding.
However, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has since received reassurances from Women's Health Minister Jenni Minto that work to fully restore maternity services in the region will continue as planned.
Ms Minto also confirmed that the first allocation of £3m for Dr Gray's was delivered to NHS Grampian in December last year.
Mr Lochhead said: "The Women’s Health Minister has now given reassurances that despite the pause on new projects – caused by cuts to capital budgets by the UK Government – work on the restoration of consultant-led maternity services at Dr Gray’s will continue.
"This will come as a relief to local women and families who are keenly anticipating the reinstatement of maternity services locally, and comes just as NHS Grampian has launched its new campaign to attract medics to the region to support the restoration of these vital services.”
The full restoration of maternity services in Moray is being targeted for 2026.
And NHS Grampian is aiming to recruit dozens of new staff to the area including over 20 who will be needed to support this.
That saw the health board launch a major recruitment campaign which will target major English cities in an effort to attract healthcare professionals to Moray last week.
Jane Gill, maternity programme lead at NHS Grampian, said: "I welcome the Scottish Government underlining their commitment to our plans to deliver consultant-led maternity services in Moray by the end of the 2026.
"We continue to work hard to expand maternity services in Moray and make Dr Gray's a viable option for labour and delivery for as many people as possible.
"We launched a major recruitment campaign earlier this week, emphasising the many benefits to working and living in Moray, and this has already had a pleasing amount of interest.
"In addition, three obstetric & gynaecology consultants have been appointed and are due to start work in March.
"Our Moray and Banff maternity team currently supports around 800 pregnancies every year.
"We are steadily increasing the number of antenatal and postnatal services in Elgin as we work towards delivering a full, sustainable consultant-led service."