Only 8 babies were born at Dr. Gray’s in January

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Campaigners said Murray’s motherhood woes were not “cleared away” after the birth of just eight babies at Dr. Gray’s clinic in January.

There were just eight babies born at Dr. Gray's Hospital in January...Photo: Daniel Forsyth..
There were just eight babies born at Dr. Gray’s Hospital in January…Photo: Daniel Forsyth..

The figure was announced yesterday (March 14th) by the NHS Grampian.

Keep MUM said the low figure shows that a short-term change is required so women need less transport to Aberdeen.

Health Secretary Hamza Yusuf announced £6.6m for Murray’s maternity earlier this month, but Keep MUM spokeswoman Kirsty Watson said “the funding is not enough”.

She said: “This situation is not ‘over’ as recent publicity suggests.

“The current plan offers nothing in 2023 or 2024 to allow more babies to be born safely in Moray – anything beyond that depends on changes happening at Raigmore which are unlikely to materialize.

Why can’t services be expanded to more women giving birth at Dr. Gray’s in the short term?

Saying there is funding is not enough.

“The next steps should be fast paced.”

During 2022, there were just 131 births at Dr Grey’s, compared to 4,976 in the NHS’ Grampian area.

Describing the current transport of a woman in her second stage of labor as “barbaric”, Ms Watson said the Grampian NHS should use existing resources within the hospital to provide better care and deliver more babies locally.

She said: “There are obstetricians, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, midwives, operating room teams and other hospital staff.

“So you have to find a solution that really meets the urgency of women’s need so they can have confidence that if they need obstetric support, it will be provided.

“Currently, women in labor at Dr. Gray’s are not reassured that they will not be moved until after they are fully dilated and in the second stage of labour.

“This is barbaric and has potentially huge implications for mental and physical health.

“Until there is more support available at Dr Gray’s Hospital, birth numbers will continue to decline and births will remain fraught with fear and uncertainty.

“It is the responsibility of the NHS Grampian and the Scottish Government to oversee this process.”

She also issued pleas to politicians to keep pressing for better Murray maternity services:

“We urge our elected members to continue to keep this issue in the public eye and to actively campaign for more support now for women in labor at Dr. Gray’s Hospital.”

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