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Locals angry at comments from NHS Grampian leadership that full Dr Gray's maternity service could take ten years

By Lewis McBlane

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NORTHERN Scot readers have reacted furiously to claims by senior NHS Grampian leadership that consultant-led services at Dr Gray's could take up to ten years to return.

Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin - NHS Grampian...Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin - NHS Grampian...Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Readers shared their frustration at slow progress, the actions by NHS Grampian and the Scottish Government, and alleged that the north of Scotland was being neglected compared to other regions.

The following views were aired in Facebook comments under a Northern Scot story about the meeting at which the statement was made.

Fiona Crawford said: "Sorry but is there anyone out there that thinks this is acceptable?

"It doesn't take 10 years to build a new hospital.

"How hard is it to re-instate something that should never have been taken away in the first place?"

Carol Wetherell said: "This is a ridiculous state of affairs. The Scottish Parliament, Moray Council and NHS Grampian are all aware of the deep feelings this situation is causing.

"What a pity the community is so far down the list of priorities.

"What a let down, when the withdrawal was so easily predictable in 2018, that steps were not taken well before the downgrading."

Anya Nicol said: "When they took it away for a start I knew they had no intentions of putting it back! And that was in 2018!"

Other readers slammed what they claimed was a lack of action by national and local politicians.

Jo Mullen said: "Right, personally I think enough is enough now. Comments on Facebook just don't cut it.

"We've had so many services removed without the consent of those who use them over the past few years here in Moray.

"It's time to take the power away from the senior public servants and the political parties.

"The £5 million announced for the reinstatement of a consultant led service and Moray's share of NHS funding for the hospital needs to be put in the hands of the community – and I don't mean the usual suspects – to run Dr Gray's.

"I can't imagine how expectant mothers in Moray cope with this level of uncertainty throughout their entire pregnancy.

"For too long patients have been let down and many staff on the frontline are stressed or demoralised because they don't have any agency either.

"In my experience, there's nothing worse than working within a system that doesn't afford you the ability to challenge aspects that you know are just plain wrong."

Readers also criticised the Scottish Government, in a sign that a Moray visit and funding announcement by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf have not eased fears.

SNP MSP for Moray, Richard Lochhead, was contacted for comment but did not respond by time of publication.

Anne Elizabeth Cameron said: "Where is our First Minister on this?

"Wonderful Scotland and their services to their people...ridiculous."

Chris Jean Fettes said: "If this was in the central belt it would have been done long ago.

"The SNP thinks Scotland stops at Perth.

Sarah Turnbull said: "Gosh so many empty promises. Totally unacceptable but why do our politicians think this is OK."

Sheila Ross said: "This is like stepping back almost 40 years when Maryhill was closing.

"Get your act together and give local mums what they need."

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