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13 April 2006

Stevenson Calls On NHS Grampian To Emulate Success Of Rural Midwife-Led Maternity Units

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson is calling on NHS Grampian to emulate the success of midwife-led maternity units in the neighbouring NHS Highland area. In the Skye and Lochalsh area, numbers of births delivered locally has trebled from 2003.

According to NHS Highland, more babies are being delivered within the area because of the new-look midwife-led maternity service.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

This is a very useful example because it tells us two things. Firstly, it confirms that given the choice, expectant mothers will choose to have their babies locally rather than travel. Secondly, it shows that a revamped service on Skye has led to a trebling of births in the unit. Thirdly, and more importantly in terms of the campaign, it shows that a unit can be viable at a fairly low level – at the Broadford unit on Skye, we are talking about 24 births per year.

At Fraserburgh and Banff we are talking about annual figures in excess of 50. If the unit in Broadford can be run successfully and safely at that level then there is no reason why that system cannot be deployed in the North-east and I have urged NHS Grampian to look at this possibility.”

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