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.

Moray maternity services: Health secretary says he wouldn’t want his child to be born in a lay-by

Heath Secretary Humza Yousaf.
Heath Secretary Humza Yousaf.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf says he would not want his child to be born in a lay-by, after two mums were forced to do exactly that in Moray in the last six months.

Campaign group Keep Mum is calling for maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin to be drastically improved, warning there could be a “tragedy” if action is not taken.

The maternity unit at the hospital was downgraded in 2018.

Since then most women in Moray have had to go to either Aberdeen Maternity Hospital or Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to give birth.

But as a consequence of this at least two women have been forced to give birth off the side of the A96 in the last six months alone – raising serious concern that a tragedy will happen.

And the health secretary now says he understands the concerns of the Keep Mum campaigners, and said he wouldn’t want his own family to have to go through the ordeal.

Health secretary shares concerns

Keep Mum previously told the Press and Journal some women are putting off having a family because of their concerns over care.

Marj Adams from the group said: “We really fear there could be a tragedy, there could be a death of a mother or a baby – or both.

“Really we are on the cliff-edge.

“It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Last week NHS Grampian and NHS Highland jointly published plans to see how maternity services at Dr Gray’s can be improved.

Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.

But it did not detail any proposals to introduce consultant-led births or elective caesareans in Moray – a key demand by campaigners.

Mr Yousaf said changes will be made to maternity care in Moray and said the government is “absolutely committed” to maintaining the safety of women and their unborn children.

When asked to address the specific concerns highlighted by the Keep Mum group, he said: “I share those concerns.

“In relation to people having to give birth in a lay-by, that is not what I would want for my child.”

Douglas Ross: Urgent action needed

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross said he is pleased Mr Yousaf acknowledges the plight of new mums in Moray, but added he needs to “urgently” restore consultant-led births at Dr Gray’s.

Mr Ross himself was warned his wife may have to give birth in a lay-by while she was being transferred to Aberdeen to give birth last year.

The Moray MP said: “I’m glad that Humza Yousaf agrees that, in the 21st century, children shouldn’t be born in a lay-by.

“And I’m sure he’s also concerned about the welfare of mums who are rushed to Aberdeen during labour.

Douglas Ross with wife Krystle and newborn son James.

“The prospect of that terrified me when my wife was pregnant and we had to make that journey a year ago.

“This is the reality faced by so many Moray mums, ever since maternity services were downgraded at Dr Gray’s four years ago.

“It’s all very well showing empathy for the concerns of Keep Mum and other campaigners but the SNP health secretary knows there’s only one way to resolve the situation – we need the urgent restoration of a consultant-led maternity unit at Elgin.”

Moray maternity fears: ‘There could be a death of a mother or a baby – or both’

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]