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NHS Grampian has confirmed that, due to staff shortages at Dr Gray’s Hospital, elective caesarean sections will move to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital from this week.
This is similar to the period between July and November last year when elective caesarean sections, sometimes called prearranged or booked, were halted at Dr Gray’s due to a shortage of specialist staff.
Dr Jamie Hogg, Clinical Director at Dr Gray’s Hospital, said: “This is disappointing and we’re sorry we’ve had to take this step which will hopefully be for a temporary period.
“Our priority is to provide the safest, best quality care for Moray mothers possible. The maternity unit at Dr Gray’s will remain available for low risk, non-caesarean births and, aside from elective caesarean sections, other patient services should not be affected.”
Midwifery staff are contacting the small number of women who have a date booked for an elective section to discuss alternative arrangements.
Any other expectant mums who are concerned at all should contact their midwife.
Commenting on the situation, Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “It is disappointing to hear that Dr Gray’s is reverting to sending expectant mothers from the Moray area to Aberdeen.
“There were encouraging signs that the staffing situation was improving, but this is a backwards step.
“Whilst these are pre-arranged appointments, the extra travel time adds another layer to what is already, a stressful situation.
“No-one should have to endure a round trip of three hours or more to give birth. I am taking this up with the health board and will work with all partners to try and find a resolution to this as soon as possible.”