Maternity service consultation underway

Proposed changes to maternity services in the North East which would see the closure of birth units in Fraserburgh and Aboyne are to go out to public consultation, following a meeting of the NHS Grampian Board last week.

Under the plans, three community maternity units in Aberdeen, Peterhead and Inverurie would replace the two birth units in Aboyne and Fraserburgh. NHS Grampian is now to seek the views of the public on the proposed changes.

The proposals are part of a wider review of maternity services which has been under way since April 2010, and which has been drawn up with input from women and staff from across the north east. NHS bosses hope that the proposals, if enacted, will help reduce pressure on consultant units at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, and improve the experience of the thousands of women and families who use these services.

Community meetings are also being organised in Aberdeen, Aboyne, Banff, Elgin, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Peterhead and Stonehaven. The public can feedback by completing the feedback questionnaire, e mailing comments to nhsg.consult@nhs.net or by writing to Freepost, NHS Grampian. The consultation paper and feedback questionnaire are available from www.nhsgrampian.org/maternityreview, or by phone 01224 550950.

Final proposals will go back to the Board of NHS Grampian for approval, but a final decision on any changes rests with Scottish Ministers.