Moray MP Douglas Ross has called on Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to “urgently” review plans to restore maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital – nearly three years after it was downgraded.
NHS Grampian announced the plans to cut back on consultant-led services at the Elgin hospital in July last year due to staffing shortages.
Expectant mothers from the local area who are deemed at risk have been travelling to Aberdeen or Inverness since then.
However, nearly three years on, the measure that was described as temporary is still in place.
At the weekend, the A96 Aberdeen-Inverness was closed due to drifting snow and there has been increased concern from mums-to-be about emergency situations. Campaign group
Keep MUM claimed last week that NHS Grampian had "no intention" of restoring full maternity services.
Mr Ross has written to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman seeking assurances and asking for plans to fully return to a consultant-led service to be outlined “in detail”.
Scottish Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross said:
“It is now nearly three years since the announcement to downgrade the maternity unit at Dr Gray’s.
“Promises were made at the time that the shift would be temporary and that an action plan would be put in place to restore a full service.
“I have very serious concerns that there seems to have been little action taken during this time.
“Women in Moray face the daunting and dangerous prospect of having to travel up to 70 miles along the busy A96.
“The winter months can be particularly treacherous – as we saw this weekend with the road completely impassable due to snowdrifts.
“This could compromise the safety of pregnant women who have already been identified as being at risk of complications.
“I am calling on Jeane Freeman to urgently review the situation at Dr Gray’s Hospital and provide explicit reassurance to the people of Moray by outlining in detail what is being done to restore full maternity services at Dr Gray’s.
“We all appreciate we are in the middle of a pandemic, but this is work that should be have been completed long before Covid, and there is no reason why we cannot be given a clear timeline and plan.
“Krystle and I were lucky to have our first child at Dr Gray’s and the care we received was outstanding. As we plan ahead to our second being born in June, I want to see as many families as possible being able to welcome their child into the world locally at Dr Gray’s.”