Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Commenting on the update provided to community representatives on the draft interim plan for maternity services in Moray, Richard Lochhead MSP said: 

“It is refreshing to finally be discussing plans to restore maternity services at Dr Gray’s and that there is now a focus on building back up services in Elgin.

“The implementation of model 4 is all about giving women more choice over where they give birth and NHS Grampian indicated that a couple of hundred women a year could choose to have their babies at Raigmore rather than having to travel to Aberdeen.

“One of the positive aspects of the plans for model 4 is that more ante-natal care will be able to be provided at Dr Gray’s than was the case before services were downgraded. I’m told this will save people from having to make multiple trips to Aberdeen over the course of their pregnancy.

“It is however disappointing that plans to restore elective caesareans are not included in the draft plan for model 4 due to concerns raised by clinicians that would be involved in delivering the service. Given this could potentially increase the number of women giving birth at Dr Gray’s by around 20%, we need assurances from NHS Grampian that this service will be restored as soon as possible. Of course, this is only a draft plan so we will need to see how quickly this part of the service can be reinstated.

“I once again made absolutely clear to NHS Grampian that work on delivering model 6 – which is the consultant service – must be accelerated and delivered as soon as it is safe to do so. That means plans for a consultant service must be worked on concurrently, rather than waiting to deliver model 4 first, and we need NHS Grampian to outline how it plans to spend the £5m allocated by the Scottish Government for investment in Dr Gray’s.

“There’s no doubt that there remains significant challenges but it is a step forward that the interim draft plan has now been submitted to the Health Secretary.”