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'What matters now is action': Keep MUM releases statement following maternity services review

By Ewan Malcolm

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LOCAL group Keep MUM welcomed recommendations made by a long awaited report into maternity services at Dr Gray's Hospital which was published yesterday.

Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin - NHS Grampian. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin - NHS Grampian. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The independent report made several 'short-term' recommendations including moving pregnant women from Moray to Inverness instead of Aberdeen.

The Moray based group have long campaigned for the restoration of consultant status for the maternity unit at Dr Gray's in Elgin and welcomed some of the recommendations made in yesterday's report.

A statement released on the group's Facebook page said: "We are very glad that the voices of women and their families have been heard. Women’s experiences have been publicly validated as unacceptable by the review team.

"We are also relieved that the current situation has been rejected by the review team.

"Restoring elective sections at Dr Gray’s Hospital will be progress.

"The suggestion that the whole process of improving Moray Maternity Services be overseen by an independent body is also welcomed."

The group expressed concern over the report's plan to send women to Inverness instead of Aberdeen and appealed for further reassurances regarding Raigmore Hopsital's ability to accommodate women from Moray.

The group said: "We have concerns about the viability of sending women to Raigmore Hospital – it is already at capacity.

"We doubt very much that Highland Health Board and NHS Grampian can come up with a solution to an impossible dilemma. And we would like reassurance that the staff on the ground in Raigmore Hospital, including midwives and obstetricians, have been fully consulted about this."

In the long term, the report recommends a midwife-led consultant-supported service at Dr Gray's which could allow up to 70 per cent of births to take place in Moray.

The group's statement concluded: "This model is similar to the Orkney Model and would allow up to approximately 70 per cent of women to deliver their babies in Elgin. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

"Finally, we must say that, in part, we reserve judgement until we hear the Scottish Government’s plan for taking this forward. The review only gives recommendations. What matters now is action. We are looking forward to all of this being discussed in the Scottish Parliament and meeting with the Health Secretary."

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