Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP Councillors in Moray have welcomed unanimous support from the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee for a motion offering support to NHS Grampian with recruitment challenges that have caused the temporary closure of the Dr Gray’s Paediatrics Ward.

The motion was proposed by SNP Co-Leader Cllr Shona Morrison and seconded by Buckie SNP Councillor Sonya Warren.

During the Committee meeting the Council’s Leader, Independent Councillor for Forres George Alexander, indicated that he had written in those terms to NHS Grampian.

Welcoming the cross-party commitment to finding innovative recruitment solutions for public services in Moray, Cllr Shona Morrison said:

“As we are all aware, the ongoing issue surrounding the recruitment of junior doctors by NHS Grampian resulted with the temporary closure of Dr Gray’s paediatric unit to overnight patients earlier this month.

“Having personally benefitted on more than one occasion from the excellent care provided by ward two, I am all too aware of the impact such measures will have on families throughout Moray.

“The well documented recruitment challenges in Moray are of course not peculiar to health care and pose considerable difficulties to many areas within the public sector.

“I hope that this unified response will go some way to ensuring that we, as a Council, do all that we can to support and assist the staff of NHS Grampian in resolving its current recruitment difficulties.”

Cllr Sonya Warren said:

“The challenges of recruiting teachers, medical professionals and, indeed, other skilled workers in both the public and private sector across the north and north east of Scotland are well publicised.

“One of the big reasons for this challenge is not necessarily a lack of people able to do these jobs but a lack of people willing to move to Moray, Aberdeenshire and Highland areas.

“We need to work together with our public sector partners and with the private sector to market Moray in new and innovative ways as a fantastic place to live and work if we are going to fill these gaps in our workforce.”

Motion to Moray Council Policy & Resources Committee Meeting on Tuesday 29th August 2017


Committee notes ongoing issues around the provision of Paediatrics services and public  concern for the future of the Children’s Ward at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin. Council further notes the recruitment challenges facing the NHS in some service areas including Paediatrics, that mirror our own recruitment challenges in the teaching profession.

Committee states its full support for continued Paediatric and Children’s Ward provision in Moray. Committee views the provision of a wide and well supported range of medical services in Dr Gray’s as a critical element of ensuring Moray continues to be a desirable place to live and work.

Committee instructs the Council Leader to write to NHS Grampian expressing both our concern over the future of Paediatric provision at Dr Gray’s and our full support for any efforts to maintain a full service in Moray, including the provision of the Children’s Ward, and offering support, particularly through joint recruitment campaigns, to encourage people with the necessary expertise to live and work in Moray’s vital public services.