Community Groups News
A large audience turned out for the meeting organised by the League of Friends of Caithness General Hospital. Speakers included - Jamie Stone MSP, David Flear Caithness Area Convenor, George Bruce, chair of Caithness Health Forum, and councillors Bill Fernie and Graham Smith.
"Use Continental Practice To Support Caithness Maternity" SNP list member for the Highlands and Islands Rob Gibson welcomes the turn out of last nights (Wednesday 26th of November) public meeting about the downgrading of Wick Maternity Ward. He will be present at the 15 December meeting with Prof.
The Convener of The Highland Council's Caithness Area Committee, Councillor David Flear, has joined the call for health bosses to consider upgrading maternity services at Caithness General Hospital. Councillor Flear intends raising the matter at the next Area Committee meeting on Monday 15 September and expects to send a firmly worded response to the Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who are currently reviewing maternity services provided in Wick as part of a Scotland-wide review.
Mums and kids made a day out to Thurso with visits to Viking Bowl, Ormlie Skateboard Park and Thurso Swimming Pool all on a lovely sunny day..
A very succesful holiday club was run by mums in Pulteneytown using the South School hall and playground. John Thurso the local member of parliament visited the club and was delighted to see the range of activities organised to occupy the children..
See photos at the link above..
The group had support from many residents and a local contractor to clean up the area of grassland round about the burn. A huge quantity of rubbish including concrete and old beds and all manner of glass and other rubbish was removed.
Check out what Susan Deacon the Health Minister for Scotland said in her September press release following publication of the Arbuthnott Report on allocations of expenditure for rural areas. The report has a short summary of the main points as well as the full report.
The review of maternity services in Highland is complete and has been presented to Highland Health Board members today. The review calls for a Highland wide maternity service to be designed around the needs of women, with midwife managed care being the norm for the majority of low risk pregnancies.
Thurso's people turned out in droves last night to attend the meeting called by the reference group. Many people were turned away as the hall was full to overflowing.
The meeting in Wick High School was packed out on Monday night as the people in East Caithness reacted to the perceived threat to maternity services. The representatives were grilled and in typical Wick fashion the audience demanded improvements not downgrading to services.
Highland Health Board have denied that any of the local staff have been warned not to talk about the review to members of the public. Robert MacLennan took up the matter with the Health board following reports he had received.
The winter weather has forcefully convinced Caithness people that what they have said all along is true. That an area as far away from the main centres must have its own dedicated services especially in vital areas of health like maternity where emergencies do and will happen when the weather cuts the county off.
Mr Stone called on all constituents, as many as possible to in Caithness & Sutherland to write and make their views known. The Caithness Courier article today set out Mr Stone's view on the matter and made it clear that now was the time for people to put pen to paper.
Graeme Smith, a member of the Wick Community Council and Highland Councillor is encouraging people to think more about how a concerted campaign might affect the outcome of the Review into Maternity services in the county. He encouraged people to think in terms of a campaign involving community councils and the Association of community councils acting in concert with MUMS (Maternity Unit Must Stay).
Well if things were looking quieter on the public outcry front about possible downgrading then the latest drama in Caithness certainly underlines the need for people to be concerned. Fortunately for all concerned the skills in the maternity unit were able to deal with the problems.
The Maternity Review is certainly going to stack up the reports with the Caithness Economic Partnership going to carry out an economic assessment of the impact of changes to the service if any are brought in. This seems sensible but can it be taken in isolation.
As reported in the JOG this week a review is to be started in January. A reference group and very wide consultation is to be carried out.