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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

NHS Grampian Board Meeting “Deeply Frustrating and Disappointing”

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Moray MP Douglas Ross attended the virtual board meeting of NHS Grampian earlier today (Thursday) to listen to the discussion about Moray maternity services.

The local MP came away frustrated and disappointed after the Chief Executive of the Health Board said it could take seven to ten years for a consultant led unit to return to Dr Gray’s.

The Board also noted they were waiting for a letter from the Health Secretary before proceeding further and outlined that they are aiming to agree timeframes and milestones for Model 6 (return of a full consultant-led unit) in nine months’ time.

Commenting Douglas said:

“I wanted to attend this board meeting to listen to the comments from members of NHS Grampian about our maternity services, but I came away deeply frustrated and disappointed.

“Three years ago, we were told that our consultant-led maternity unit was being temporarily downgraded for a year, but since then very little has been done to restore this service. 

“To hear the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian state that it could take another seven to ten years to reinstate this vital service is a huge blow to families in Moray.

“It means that Moray kids who have been born since the downgrade could be teenagers before we see the consultant-led unit back up and running in Elgin. 

“I specifically asked Humza Yousaf in the Scottish Parliament if he could guarantee the service would be up and running before the end of this Parliamentary session (2026) but he ignored that question. 

“It now seems obvious why.

“It was even more annoying to hear that the Board were still waiting to receive an official letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health to allow them to further progress this issue. 

“He made his statement on Moray Maternity services more than a week ago, so why has this official correspondence not been sent?

“The fact that timeframes and milestones for a return to a consultant-led unit are only scheduled to be agreed in nine months, means we are looking at next year before we can even start scrutinising the Scottish Government and the health board on their plans. 

“That is completely unacceptable and will leave many Moray mums and families anxious and furious.

“While mums to be and families have to endure lengthy, uncomfortable and dangerous journeys to give birth in Aberdeen and Inverness, the work to reinstate full maternity services at Dr Gray’s is moving at a snail’s pace. 

“The Scottish Government and NHS Grampian must see this is not good enough for people in Moray and finally pull out all the stops to deliver for local people.

“I have written again to the Cabinet Secretary and NHS Grampian demanding urgent action and clarification on a number of these issues.”

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