Timetable tar­get for restor­ing ser­vices seen as ‘grow­ing chal­lenge’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

NHS Grampian said meet­ing its tar­get of restor­ing ma­ter­nity ser­vices to Mo­ray’s big­gest hospi­tal by April is a “grow­ing chal­lenge”.

An up­date from man­age­ment has re­vealed that the lat­est April 2020 es­ti­mate for the re­turn of ma­ter­nity ser­vices is in­creas­ingly un­re­al­is­tic.

Last night cam­paign­ers de­scribed the rev­e­la­tion as “alarm­ing”, and called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to in­ter­vene.

Re­ports for to­day’s NHS Grampian board meet­ing high­lighted concerns about a sus­tain­able model for the anaes­thetic ser­vice as a stum­bling block.

Marj Adams, a mem­ber of cam­paign group Keep Mum, said: “This progress up­date doesn’t, in any way, ac­knowl­edge the cur­rent risky sit­u­a­tion that women are still fac­ing – and which causes emo­tional dis­tress.

“It is not clear where NHS Grampian is at in restor­ing the con­sul­tan­tled ser­vice. Nei­ther does it men­tion timescales...”

The NHS has warned that restor­ing Dr Gray’s to full strength will in­volve a range of ser­vices at the El­gin unit be­ing re­designed and bet­ter staffed.

Re­ports pro­duced for to­day’s board meet­ing ex­plain that im­ple­ment­ing a con­sul­tant-led ma­ter­nity ser­vice “would de­mand a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease” in the work from anaes­thet­ics.

It adds: “This risk is be­ing mit­i­gated by pro­vid­ing plan­ning ca­pac­ity to de­velop a clin­i­cally-led and de­tailed work pro­gramme to es­tab­lish po­ten­tial sus­tain­able so­lu­tions for anaes­thet­ics in Dr Gray’s Hospi­tal, with cross-sys­tem ben­e­fits.

“This work will in­volve many stake­hold­ers and re­lates to reg­u­la­tory and ed­u­ca­tional frame­works. As such it is un­likely to be de­liv­ered at pace.”

Mean­while, NHS Grampian has stressed that chil­dren’s ser­vices re­main on track to be re­stored with a new model in April.

Re­cruit­ment to the new posts is un­der way, with the NHS ex­pect­ing ap­point­ments to be made in Fe­bru­ary.

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