Caithness Health Area Team - CHAT - New Group To Lobby On Caithness Health Matters
17th May 2016
Maternity Unit In Crisis
Consultants - Too Many Locums
A new local lobbying group "CHAT" Caithness Health Action Team has been formed by a group of local Caithness people concerned about a variety of matters affecting health services in Caithness. These vary from Maternity where many more mothers in recent times are being sent to Raigmore hospital in Inverness, Lack of consultants, Locum cover, Lack of GP's.
The group have held meetings to set up the group and are currently forming a list of aims and objectives. Many of you will recall the campaigns to save the maternity unit from being downgraded the last of which was run by North Action Group chaired by the late George Bruce. That campaign last almost two years and in the end was successful in retaining a consultant led maternity unit. What it showed was that it takes a huge force of people to prevent loss of services. People in Caithness rallied in huge numbers at that time. Money was raised, MSP's were lobbied, The group went to Edinburgh. The group went to Inverness to sit in on Board meetings of NHS Highland. Media was sent out views, stories and more. CHAT will form its own ideas and is already on its way. JOIN US.
The new group CHAT will have wider remit to address several areas of concern to the general public. A high percentage of pregnant ladies and mothers have already joined forces with other interested local people.
A web site has been set up www.caithnesshealth.org/ where information is being posted. If you would like to help or join the group even just to get emails on progress then take look at the new web site. There is also a Facebook page
The group would be interested to hear from you if you have had any problems with health services in Caithness. Also any good stories would be interesting as the group are not about negativity but hope to see what can be done to protect and improve health services.
The redesign of services has been going for some time at Caithness General. Do you think this has made for improvements in your services?
You can leave comments on the web site.
Anyone is welcome to join the group. So far meetings to set the group up have been held in Wick but they may be held in Thurso also as things move on.
Please "LIKE" The Facebook page.
Men should get involved - its your family mother, wife and children and of course yourself - everyone.
Photographer - Bill Fernie
A small group who were at the first meeting in Wick. - Numbers have already quadrupled and rising fast.
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.
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:00am - possibly throughout the day George Bruce Interviews on Moray Firth Radio News 12:00 Noon Demonstration Begins At Caithness General Hospital 12:01pm Toot Your Horn Campaign Begins Motorist are being asked to toot their horns as they pass the demonstration at Caithness General 12:05pm Professor Calder Team Arrives Wick Airport 12:15pm Press Conference At Wick Airport 12:40pm Professor Calder Team Arrival Expected Caithness General 1:00pm Council Press Conference At Wick Town Hall Area Convenor David Flear will lead the press conference with Jenny Spence, League of Friends, Jamie Stone MSP. George Bruce, Caithness & North Sutherland Health Forum and two mothers.
The visit of Professor Andrew Calder to Wick on Monday 15 December had a big profile as it gained mentions on Moray Firth Radio, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Scotland Television News. Repeat mentions on several news broadcasts are ensuring the issue is highlighted.
Tune in to Moray Firth Radio to hear George Bruce chairman of the Caithness & North Sutherland Health Forum being interviewed about the current Maternity Review to coincide with Professor Calder's visit to Caithness General Hospital. Listen on radio or on the web by going to Moray Firth Radio web site and click on Listen.
A variety of groups that involve young mothers is likely to arrive with pushchairs and prams on Monday. Several groups from around Caithness intend to be represented at the Noon Demonstration with several intending to attend both the noon and 6:00pm demos.
As local feeling continues to rise on the Maternity Services issue in Caithness confirmation has been given that a second demonstration will take place at 6:00pm at Caithness General Hospital on Monday 15th. The first demo will happen to coincide with the arrival of Professor Calder and his team as part of the review.
Posters in Caithness supporting the demonstrations at Caithness General Hospital on Monday 15 December have turned a current Television advertising campaign for flights from Inverness airport on its head. Whilst the TV ad shows how great it is that you can now fly to many places from Inverness the posters bring home the point that few in the north want the same service for delivering babies up to 130 miles away..
Caithness Area Convenor David Flear is receiving the biggest correspondence he has ever received on any topic by a huge margin. Mail is arriving every day by post and email is constantly popping in to add weight to his arguments.
Caithness Convenor David Flear will lead a Highland Council Press Conference at Wick Town Hall on Monday 15th at 1:00pm time in the Wick Town Hall. Councillor Flear will chair the briefing.
Professor Calder is to hold a short press conference at Wick Airport shortly after he arrives. With interest in the visit now coming under intense scrutiny he is likely to face a barrage of questions from reporters.
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