Scottish Conservative MSP Douglas Ross has promised families in Moray that he will continue to hold the SNP Scottish Government to account after they promised to restore consultant-led maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin as quickly as possible.
Douglas secured an important debate in the Scottish Parliament on the campaign to restore a full, consultant-led, maternity service in Moray. The local service was downgraded in July 2018, at the time people were told this would be a temporary measure lasting up to a year.
Commenting after the debate, Douglas said: “Now almost three years on from the decision to downgrade the service, there has been no progress and we are no closer to seeing this vital service return to Moray.”
During the debate Douglas highlighted figures provided by the KeepMUM campaign group that showed an average of 1052 births at Dr Gray’s from 2010 to 2017, dropping to just 178 in 2020.
“Last year less than 20 per cent of Moray mums gave birth at Dr Gray’s, with 714 going to Aberdeen, 16 to Raigmore and 13 home births.
“I know from personal experience that we have an outstanding team of midwives and staff at Dr Gray’s; it’s just a great pity that so few Moray families experience their great care as they are forced to travel out with Moray to have their babies.”
While welcoming Cabinet Secretary for Health Humza Yousaf’s pledge during the debate that a full consultant-led maternity service will be restored at Dr Gray’s, Douglas was disappointed that there was no firm timescale for this.
“There is an independent review underway at the moment, due to report shorty, and the Health Secretary said the Scottish Government would respond to that as quickly as possible. I will continue to raise the need for a consultant-led unit at Dr Gray’s to be reinstated as a matter of urgency and I will hold the SNP Government to the promises they have made.
“After years of warm words but no action from NHS Grampian and the Scottish Government it is now time for them to restore the consultant led maternity unit at Dr Gray’s. Anything short of this would be unacceptable and I hope the debate reinforced the strong feelings of people across Moray that this service is urgently needed in the local area.”