Two Moray councillors have praised the dedication of NHS maternity staff following the birth of their baby daughter.
Husband and wife Ray and Maria McLean welcomed their first child Sofia into the world on October 30.
The couple received their initial care from health staff in Elgin during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic – a situation Mrs McLean described as “daunting”.
However, the new parents have now praised the dedication and attention from NHS personnel from their first consultations in lockdown through to the birth in Aberdeen.
Mrs McLean, who represents Elgin City North, said: “I’m so glad to say that my early fears were entirely unfounded. From start to finish everyone I met was absolutely amazing, guiding me through the process with compassion and understanding.
“I received nothing but exceptional care from the consultants, nurses, midwives and all other staff there, my husband and I cannot thank them enough.”
And Mrs McLean also praised the work of campaign group Keep Mum, which is fighting to ensure maternity services are restored to Dr Gray’s Hospital as soon as possible.
Recruitment issues in recent years have forced some services to be suspended at the Elgin unit with more births currently being delivered in Aberdeen.
Mrs McLean added: “I’m very aware that there are deep and profound concerns about the level of maternity service currently available at Dr Gray’s.
“I’m hugely grateful to the Keep Mum campaign for all their hard work in keeping this vital issue front and centre in the minds of the public, the NHS, and the Scottish Government – but at the moment I’d just like to express my gratitude to all the hard working staff who helped, and continue to help me.”
Mr McLean, who represents Elgin City South, explained the new arrival had lifted his family during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “We understand that 2020 has been a terrible year for many, with a seemingly endless black cloud hanging over us all.
“Sofia has been like a huge ray of sunshine for our family. We’re so lucky here in the UK to have our NHS, and I’m so grateful for everything they did to help bring our beautiful and healthy daughter to us.”