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Blocked Roads and Foggy Conditions Highlight Need for Local Maternity Services

1st December 2000

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.

Fears are that things would not have turned out so well in a downgraded unit. With the air ambulance not available and the road south blocked at the same time it is just this type of problem that people are afraid would happen. With wick also not to get its second runway upgraded even this lifeline might not be available in if the wind is blowing the wrong way. Helicopters cannot fly in foggy conditions and Wick has plenty of years where it is bad for flying. There are not many roads south and if the main one is blocked a three hour drive south could become a real nightmare for an expectant mother.

Surely this requires some statement to assure people in the north that these vital services will not follow so many others south. This is life and death - much more than just economics. Can we please have some confirmation that notwithstanding the need to keep skills up to date the unit will retain the present cover. Surely it is not beyond ingenuity to come up with a solution if maintaining skills is the only concern.

[This article has been transferred here from our archives]

 

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