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Members' Business — S6M-10307 Meghan Gallacher: Maternity Services in Scotland

Wednesday 20 September 2023 5:31 PM


That the Parliament notes with regret the recent reported decisions taken by the Scottish Government to downgrade or remove what it considers to be vital maternity services in Scotland, following the publication of the Five-year Forward Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Services options appraisal report; understands that the neonatal ward at University Hospital Wishaw will be downgraded from level 3 to 2, and that newborn babies requiring specialised care will be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Simpsons Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, or Aberdeen Maternity Unit; notes reports that NHS Lanarkshire has expressed disappointment that the neonatal unit at Wishaw General, which, alongside other hospitals such as Ninewells in Dundee and Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, would not form part of the specialist intensive care neonatal units; considers that this decision is particularly disappointing given that Wishaw General's Neonatal Multidisciplinary Team was named UK neonatal team of the year in 2023; recognises the upset and worry that these decisions have reportedly had on expectant mothers as, should their newborn baby require additional care, they would need to travel up to 100 miles away from their families and support network; notes the petition raised by a local Lanarkshire woman, which has now received nearly 12,000 supporting signatures; considers that this is just the latest maternity service to be downgraded, with consultant-led maternity clinics at Dr Gray’s and Caithness General Hospital being closed, which, it believes, is putting expectant mothers in rural communities at significant risk while making dangerous journeys to Inverness or Aberdeen to give birth, and notes the calls urging the Scottish Government to rethink its reported conclusion to downgrade or close what are considered to be vital maternity clinics, to support the petition, and to reassure expectant mothers and their families that they will not have to make long journeys should their babies require specialist care.

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