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Dr Gray’s: Rival MSPs scramble to meet new maternity hospital review head

Douglas Ross with baby James.

The future of maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin will be back on the table this week when Moray MSP and MP meet separately with the leader of an inquiry group.

MSP Richard Lochhead and MP Douglas Ross are sitting down with Ralph Roberts, the chairman of the Independent Review looking into Maternity Services in  the area.

It is almost three years since maternity services at the Elgin hospital were downgraded due to staffing problems.

SNP MSP Mr Lochhead said it was a “hugely-important issue” and the Scottish Government remained committed to the restoration of the consultant led service in a “safe and sustainable way”.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead.

He added: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Ralph Roberts and his colleagues during their visit to Elgin this week, where I’ll be sharing my own views as well as that of the local community on the importance of having a consultant led maternity service in Moray.

“I hope that the review can ensure that services are restored in a safe and sustainable way and that it can get us back to a position where the vast majority of women in Moray are able to deliver their babies at Dr Gray’s.”

MP to share own experience

Mr Ross’s meeting with Mr Roberts will take place exactly one week after he became a father for the second time.

His wife Krystle had to be transferred in a blue light ambulance dash to the hospital in Aberdeen while in labour, and their son James was born in the maternity unit in Aberdeen.

Their first son, Alistair, was born in Dr Gray’s in 2019.

Scottish Tory leader Ross, who is also MSP for Highlands & Islands, said: “I will be sharing the concerns that have been raised with me by many Moray families since the downgrade was announced three years ago.

“Because of our own family situation last week, I will be able to share my personal experiences of having a child born in Elgin and another in Aberdeen.

Douglas Ross, his wife Krystle and their first son Alistair who was born in Dr Gray’s.

“It is frankly unacceptable that three years after we were told the maternity unit was being temporarily downgraded that so many expectant mums have to travel out of Moray to give birth.

“A full consultant-led unit was supposed to be back up and running within a year, but three years on we are still waiting.”


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