Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Douglas Ross calls for ‘firm timeframe’ to restore full maternity unit in Elgin

Douglas Ross and his wife Krystle were diverted from Elgin and rushed to Aberdeen for the birth of their son James last month.
Douglas Ross and his wife Krystle were diverted from Elgin and rushed to Aberdeen for the birth of their son James last month.

Douglas Ross has urged the Scottish Government to provide a “clear plan of action” for reinstating consultant-led maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

The Scottish Conservative leader has personal experience of the issue after being forced to drive 65-miles from Moray to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital when his wife was in labour with the couple’s son James last month.

We exclusively revealed how the pair were diverted from the local maternity unit in Elgin after their baby’s heart rate dropped and were warned Krystle may have to give birth in a lay-by on her way to Aberdeen.

Most families in Moray have been forced to travel to Aberdeen or Inverness to give birth since a staffing crisis triggered a temporary downgrade in June 2018, from consultant-led to midwife-led.

Baby James who was born last month at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Baby James who was born last month at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Mr Ross, who has campaigned to see full maternity services restored for the last three years, wrote to the Scottish Government asking for details on the publication of an independent report into the issue.

In response to the letter, Public Health Minister Maree Todd, said she expects to receive an initial report “later in the summer” and confirmed the Scottish Government is “fully committed to the reinstatement of consultant led services” at the hospital.

However, the SNP minister added that “while this review is ongoing and ahead of seeing the report it is not possible for the Scottish Government to comment on its findings and recommendations, including its timescales for delivery”.

Douglas Ross MP at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

Mr Ross said: “Now, three years on, I think people in Moray have put up with this situation for far too long and I include the staff at Dr Gray’s in the maternity unit who want to get the full service back and running.

“It’s in everyone’s best interests to see the full restoration of the consultant-led service and for that to happen as quickly as possible.”

‘No timeframe’

The Scottish Conservative leader said he is concerned the government has given “no timeframe” for the report to be considered and its findings to be implemented.

The father-of-two shared his own personal experience and that of his constituents with the team behind the review as part of their evidence.

Mr Ross said: “When we were told it was a temporary downgrade for a year we thought that’s really bad and that’s one winter that we have to worry about people travelling to and from Moray to give birth.

“We’re now three years in and unless this review is concluded quickly and the government ensure that we have a consultant-led unit back up and running again, we will be facing yet another winter of really bad weather with treacherous driving conditions.

“Which at the best of times can be testing for drivers, let alone when you’ve got a loved one either in an ambulance or with you in labour.”

EXCLUSIVE: Douglas Ross reveals ’emotional’ journey tailing pregnant wife in 65-mile ambulance dash

He added: “We need firm timeframes for both the government and the health board to work to, to give the public the confidence that the independent review will be published, will be scrutinised by individuals and politicians and that there is a clear plan of action to take forward the recommendations contained within the report.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “As the minister has stated, that whilst this review is ongoing and ahead of seeing the report it is not possible for the Scottish Government to comment on its findings and recommendations, including its timescales for delivery.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier