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Castletown and District Community Council Highlight Concerns Over Downgrading of Maternity Unit

25th October 2000

Castletown and District Community Council have now discussed the review with its implications for downgrading services in the maternity unit. The references they made concerning the abolition of the Caithness NHS Trust show that Caithness people feel they were right to be concerned about the abolition.

Now that the moves on units like maternity are being made and the trust controlled from Inverness has a budget deficit peripheral areas will suffer. Caithness and other outlying parts of the Highlands already feel powerless to control their own destiny in important matters. Is it any wonder that their is less and less interest in decision making which seems to take for ever and invariably goes against the wishes of people in the furthest rural areas?

Many people already have extreme problems with transport and are used to making ever more journeys to Inverness.

This is one journey no woman should be forced into making with all the difficulties for families in visiting a hospital for some over 130 miles away. This would be a real retrograde step. And what's next if this is allowed to happen. There will always be another crisis as an excuse to close or downgrade. Skill shortages, lack of staff, too few patients and so on. This does not give any feeling of confidence in local structures once thought of as reliable.

This continuing struggle to retain good services in rural area does nothing for confidence that rural is a good place to be. It may all be part of a national picture but as Post Offices, petrol stations, primary schools continue to close this will just be another nail in the coffin of rural life.

[This article has been transferred here from our archives]

 

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