Ross warns of new crisis looming for NHS Services in Moray

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ANOTHER CRISIS IS LOOMING for NHS Services in Moray thanks to what is being described by Moray’s MP as an unfair settlement from the Scottish Government.

Douglas Ross has said the entire North East of Scotland is suffering following a warning being issued by managers at Dr Gray’s Hospital that they will struggle to maintain current levels of service in their paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology units from February – when the next intake of junior doctors is due.

The MP said: “This warning follows revelations that non-urgent surgery in the NHS Grampian region which covers Moray, will be delayed and may not take place during January and February.

“That announcement has left many people in Moray wondering what on earth is happening to their treatment – and now we have another threat to paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology at Dr Gray’s.

“Clearly, we have to look at how we attract new doctors to this area, but the ongoing financial problems loom large when people decide where to base themselves.

“I am particularly alarmed because this series of announcements follows research conducted by my Scottish Conservative colleagues in the Scottish Parliament, which clearly demonstrates that NHS patients in our area have less spent on them than any other part of Scotland.

“The only action we have seen from SNP ministers was a PR stunt when the Health Minister Shona Robison turned up at Keith Health Centre a week or so ago for some photographs.

“On top of this bad news we have Moray Council planning to make severe cuts because it too has received years of poor financial settlements from the Scottish Government compared to other areas which is likely to impact on social care provision.”

The MP concluded: “It’s about time that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP government recognised that my constituents in Moray have as much right to decent services as people who live in the Central Belt which seems to be the only area of any interest to the SNP.”

MSP – ‘Always a Challenge’

However, Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead last night insisted that recruitment was always going to be a challenge for NHS Grampian, saying: “We knew when NHS Grampian reinstated the round the clock paediatric services at Dr Gray’s that the situation remained fragile and that it was going to be a challenge to recruit the required number of junior doctors for the February intake.

“I’m aware that parents and the community will be concerned that the service available at Dr Gray’s may need to be reduced again in February. The prospect of travelling to Aberdeen or Inverness will be worrying, particularly with the bad weather the winter months can bring. I would urge management to do explore every option available to them in the hope that they can prevent this from happening.

“I’ve worked closely with NHS Grampian and management at Dr Gray’s to try to address the recruitment challenges in Moray and some steps have been taken to try to address some of the long term issues. However, it might be that management need to expedite some of the ideas around attracting additional staff to the area including the establishment of the working group that I called for earlier in the year.

“In the meantime, parents will be anxious and it is hugely important that they are fully engaged with and kept up to date as things move forward.”