14 November 2006

MSP and Maternity Campaigners Meet With Health Minister


Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson took the fight for Fraserburgh Maternity Unit to the top this afternoon when he met with Minister for Health Andy Kerr.

Mr Stevenson was accompanied by local campaigners Nicola Henderson and Mary Melville at the meeting which took place in St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh.

The SNP MSP, who visited the Broch Maternity Unit last August when the threat first became known and who joined hundreds of people at the march and rally in support of the Unit, has repeatedly urged NHS Grampian and the Scottish Executive to ‘keep maternity services local’.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Stevenson said:

“We had an hour with the Minister. It was a useful and frank exchange of views. The Minister assured us a decision would not be made on the basis of money. Health officials confirmed to us that it was perfectly possible to run a safe and effective midwife-led unit on the number of deliveries currently experienced at Fraserburgh.

“The Minister accepted the considerable transport issues for friends, families and indeed expectant mothers of having to leave Fraserburgh for services, whether that be in Aberdeen or elsewhere.

“Myself and the campaigners made the point forcibly that we had lost confidence in the management of NHS Grampian and that it would in any event be difficult to work with them on planning any detailed changes to health provision in Fraserburgh.

“This is the time to keep up the pressure to ensure the community’s position on the provision of health services and in particular the continuing ability of women in Fraserburgh to give birth within their own community.”

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