Nursing leader issues stark warning over future of Maternity unit

THE BODY REPRESENTING midwives in Scotland has warned that Moray’s maternity unit at Dr Gray’s Hospital is not yet out of the woods.

Earlier this week it was revealed that NHS Grampian had found a temporary solution that, for now at least, ended the threat of the vital unit in Elgin being cut back because of staffing issues – with many of its staff believing it could be the prelude to closure.

Patients having to be transferred permanently to Aberdeen was of major concern for both staff at the hospital and patients – as well as the Scottish Ambulance Service who also expressed concerns over their ability to deliver an already under pressure patient transfer service.

Now Mary Ross-Davie, the Director for Scotland at the Royal College of Midwives, has welcomed the reprieve – but delivered a stark warning.

She said: “I am delighted that a solution has been found to the current problems around recruitment of doctors at Dr Gray’s maternity unit. This will be welcome news for women and their families in the area and good news for midwives and maternity support workers at Dr Gray’s.

“But there is still an issue about ensuring services continue in the long-term – and we will be seeking to work with NHS Grampian to find ways for maternity services in the area to continue working effectively for women and for the staff.”

Both Moray’s MP Douglas Ross and MSP Richard Lochhead are planning continued talks with NHS Grampian, who have ‘shuffled the pack’ in terms of staffing in Moray to allow the maternity unit to operate normally for the time being.