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NHS Trust Leak Gives Massive Publicity Boost to Maternity Services Issue

29th September 2000

There has been huge publicity on the maternity services in Caithness since the news leaked about the review and then the financial problems of the Trust. Given the assurances given at reorganisation under the "Designed to Care" proposals less than two years ago people in Caithness would appear to have been right to worry about the changes that many did not want. The drive towards centralisation yet again appears to threaten services in peripheral areas strengthening the view that the former district councils and locally based hospital trusts gave a better safeguard for locally based services.

A clinical review as now being undertaken by the Health Board will undoubtedly conclude that the doctors skills cannot be maintained in Caithness under present arrangements as the birth rate is too low. This means that doctors in hospitals cannot get the experience and practice to maintain their skills and therefore are not persuaded to take postings in remote areas. The arguments may well follow that mothers and babies are put at risk by this factor and this line of reasoning may take us back to proposals to provide the service from Raigmore one way or another.

Watch out downgrading by another route and for other reasons than the financial ones. A clinical review could be another name for all of what has gone before. We will see....

[This article has been transferred here from our archives]

 

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