Keep MUM campaigners continue to talk

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From left to right, Kirsty Watson, Shona Robison, Susan Coull and Richard Lochhead

Keep MUM campaigners Kirsty Watson and Susan Coull met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison, on Wednesday, to discuss the staffing and recruitment challenges in relation to women’s and children’s services at Dr Gray’s Hospital.

Following the meeting, the campaigners, who are fighting to keep the Maternity Unit for Moray, said: “We have shared our concerns and ideas to address the ongoing staffing issues at Dr Gray’s, both within the Paediatric and Maternity wards. The Scottish Government is now looking to innovate to help with these issues and restoring/maintaining the services in place, which they are committed to doing. We welcome and support this approach but are not complacent and will be continuing to keep a close eye on developments.”

Kirsty Watson, Chair of the Keep MUM campaign added: “We welcomed the opportunity to meet with Shona Robison, which enabled us to appraise her of the Keep MUM campaign.

“Since the issues around maternity and paediatric services at Dr Gray’s have been made public we have received a huge amount of support from the people of Moray.  The services at Dr Gray’s continues to be under threat and it is important that we keep the issue in the public eye.

“Our expectation is that NHS Grampian should do all it can to safeguard the specialist maternity unit in Elgin so that mothers can continue to give birth safely in their local hospitals.”

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who organised the meeting, said: “Given the importance of the Maternity Unit to the local community I felt it was imperative for the Keep Mum group to meet with the Health Secretary to appraise her of the campaign.  Kirsty and Susan put forward a very powerful case for supporting the Maternity Unit and the associated children’s services.

“The challenges facing more rural hospitals in attracting medical staff is well known and we discussed possible solutions, particularly around trainee doctors.

“The Health Secretary was very familiar with the issues at Dr Gray’s and helpfully suggested some steps that should be looked at.  She committed to doing everything she could to work with Keep Mum, as well as highlighting some new initiatives that should make a positive difference, whilst also recognising that we need short-term action as well.  It was a very constructive and valuable meeting.”