A milestone project to create a new community midwifery unit in Caithness has taken a major step forward.
Caithness contractor GMR Henderson has been appointed by NHS Highland to refurbish the Queen Elizabeth West Wing at Caithness General Hospital in Wick to make way for the long-awaited facility.
Local campaigners have been appealing for new facilities for some time to prevent pregnant mums having to travel 100 miles to Raigmore Hospital to deliver their babies.
Construction on-site is due to begin in the next fortnight, ahead of the health board’s desired completion date next month.
GMR’s Managing Director Gerry Henderson said: “We are delighted to secure the contract from NHS Highland to develop the new unit at Caithness General Hospital.
“We will use local subcontractors on this project, including four apprentices, highlighting our shared commitment in providing opportunities for young people in Caithness.
The new facility will have its own independent entrance and will include a birthing unit, outpatient clinic rooms and scanning room, providing a one-stop shop for women and their babies for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.
NHS Highland received a cash injection of £800,000 from the Scottish Government in May towards the creation of the unit as well as an upgrade and expansion of the hospital’s emergency department.