NHS Women & Children’s services in the spotlight at public meeting

Women & Children’s services at Dr Gray’s will be in the spotlight at public meeting next week

NHS Grampian have announced the details of a public information event and a public question and answer session with local staff taking place next week.

The event will take place at St Giles Church, High Street, Elgin next Monday, 28 January, at 6pm and offer people the chance to hear about progress towards creating a sustainable Women and Children’s service in Moray.

During the event Sue Swift, who manages the local Women and Children’s service at Dr Gray’s, will deliver a presentation to attendees which will be followed by an audience question and answer session. Clinicians, management and other local staff will be on hand to respond to queries from the audience.

The event follows the reintroduction, two weeks ago, of evening on-call provision by Consultant Obstetricians at Dr Gray’s Hospital.

Until then, women who were worried about their pregnancy or felt unwell in the evening could go to Dr Gray’s Hospital to be seen by a midwife. Under the new arrangements, consultant obstetricians are now also be on hand to offer advice, provide on-call support and assess patients where needed until 10 pm each evening.

Sue Swift, said: “We are working hard to reintroduce as many services as possible at Dr Gray’s for pregnant women. The additional on-call cover by local obstetricians means that, in the evening, we can perform a range of additional assessments and tests at Dr Gray’s itself. In many cases, this will help prevent people from having to go to Aberdeen for further medical review.

“Combined with the reintroduction of caesarean sections for low risk births at the end of the year, these additional services mean that more and more women are now being seen at Dr Gray’s. That is welcome progress and we’ll continue to reintroduce further services where it is safe to do so.”

Welcoming the news at the time, Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “I’m glad that consultant obstetricians will now be available to provide advice and support to women who may have concerns they need addressed which just cannot wait until morning.

“I am sure this is due to the strong campaign that has been ongoing from the Keep MUM group who have been fighting for the restoration of full maternity services in Moray.

“This is a good step forward in the NHS action plan towards the return of a full women and children’s service which we need to see as soon as possible. Travelling through to Aberdeen in an emergency situation is just not acceptable.”

Pam Gowans, NHS Grampian Executive Lead for Dr Gray’s Hospital, said: “We continue to work hard behind the scenes to address the staffing difficulties we face in the Women and Children’s service. It’s important that we make sure people have the opportunity to hear about that work directly as well as provide a chance to speak to those involved.

“The reintroduction of a number of services over the last few weeks has been positive and people should be assured we will continue to do that where it is safe to do so. Despite the progress, we need people to be aware that there is still a lot of work to do before we can ensure that we have a sustainable service in place. The event at the end of the month is another chance for people interested in the future of this service to get involved.

The event aims to:

  • update on our progress to date, performance, work to improve patient experience.
  • discuss and advise on the process for developing a Phase 2 Plan – aimed at defining the optimal future model for Women and Children’s services at Dr Grays.
  • provide a further opportunity for the public to offer their views, concerns, observations and suggestions.
  • provide an update on how we are responding to the feedback from the public, elected members and community groups.”

Members of the public who wish to attend the event are asked to book a free ticket for the event at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-children-services-public-information-question-answer-session-tickets-54934492546