Moray MP Douglas Ross has demanded SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf provides an urgent update on maternity services being restored to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
Douglas has written to the Health Secretary calling for Parliamentary time to be set aside for a Ministerial Statement on the matter before the Scottish Parliament breaks for summer recess on Thursday June 30.
He says that campaigners and expectant mothers in his constituency deserve answers over how maternity services will restored at the hospital.
Under questioning from Douglas, the Health Secretary previously failed to rule out that maternity services at Dr Gray’s might not be fully restored until 2031.
Douglas says that it would be a “dereliction of duty” from Humza Yousaf to leave pregnant mothers in limbo over the summer without an update on how the SNP are progressing on restoring maternity services.
Humza Yousaf said in March that a timetable for the unit moving to a “model four” which includes enhanced specialist ante-natal and post-natal care in Dr Gray’s to vastly reduce the need for women from Moray to travel to access these services, would be in place by the summer.
NHS Grampian have to announce the timelines for model four in the next couple of weeks, but the Scottish Parliament goes into a two-month recess at the end of June so it is vital that the Health Secretary makes time to update Parliament before then.
Douglas says if a statement is not delivered before recess, it shows exactly where Dr Gray’s stands on the list of SNP priorities as the next available date would be the 6th September.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said:
“The fate and progress of fully restoring maternity services at Dr Gray’s cannot be left in limbo over the summer recess while the Scottish Parliament doesn’t sit for more than two months.
“I’ve written to Humza Yousaf to ask him to guarantee time in Parliament will be set aside for a Ministerial statement on this matter of the utmost importance to families across Moray.
“We know key timelines for delivery of model four have to be presented by NHS Grampian by the end of June therefore MSPs and the public must know the Scottish Government’s response and be able to scrutinise and challenge the Health Secretary on the plans.
“People across Moray have been let down time and time again ever since maternity services were downgraded at Dr Gray’s back in 2018.
“They should not have to wait over two months while Parliament isn’t sitting without any sort of update being provided to them.
“Humza Yousaf still hasn’t been able to deny claims that maternity services will not be fully restored until 2031.
“He needs to give reassurance to expectant mothers and families across Moray.
“Frankly it would be a dereliction of duty and highlight exactly where Dr Gray’s sits on the list of SNP priorities if they don’t find a time for this statement.
“The Health Secretary seemed to think his statement at the end of March would solve all the issues at Dr Gray’s but nothing could be further from the truth.
“He needs to show leadership and ensure that the Scottish Government make time for this in the chamber before the end of June.”