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Community Groups News

PPP Fun, Barbecue & Clean UpThumbnail for article : PPP Fun, Barbecue & Clean Up
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.  
A breakthrough as the Health Board announce the Review finds in favour of keeping services local
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.  
Highland Maternity Service Review Supports Rural Provision
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.  
Maternity Review - Thurso Meeting
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.  
Maternity Review - Wick Meeting - MUMS Pull In the CrowdsThumbnail for article : Maternity Review - Wick Meeting - MUMS Pull In the Crowds
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 Denies Gagging Order
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.  
Winter Weather Proves the People of Caithness are Right
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.  
Jamie Stone MSP Urges Everyone to Get In Contact
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.  
New Plans For Threats To Maternity Services
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).  
Blocked Roads and Foggy Conditions Highlight Need for Local Maternity Services
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.  
Caithness Economic Partnership to Carry Out Review on Impact of Maternity Services Downgrade
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.  
New Reference Group and Wide Ranging Consultation to be Carried Out
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.  
Castletown and District Community Council Highlight Concerns Over Downgrading of Maternity Unit
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.  
MUMS Group to Expand Membership
Last nights meeting of MUMS (the campaign to ensure maternity services in Caithness were not reduced) held one of its now regular meetings.   The meeting brought together members of other organisations to decide upon future strategies to combat what is seen as the threat to services in the county.  
Review Chair Stands Down
Monica Mouat has stood down from her position as chair of the review group looking at maternity services.   A new chair will be appointed.  
This week saw Deirdre Steven talking to her fellow labour party member Health Minister Susan Deacon.  Following a meeting in Inverness Mrs Steven put the local view to the minister.  
Campaign Pressure Rises Steadily
No one in Caithness can be unaware of the mounting pressure being built up by the MUMS campaign in Caithness.   Local opinion is being gauged by petition in every part of the county now.  
Assurances from Health Board Give No Comfort
No assurances from the Health Board at the Wick Community Council meeting this week does not give any comfort to people who are worried about the future of maternity services in the county.   The delay in commencing the review - it has been put back to January 2001 looks to councillors like a way of trying to allow the very public campaign to die out according to Graham Smith - Wick Councillor.  
NHS Trust Leak Gives Massive Publicity Boost to Maternity Services Issue
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.  
Public Anxiety Over Highland Maternity Services Review
The public anxiety surrounding the effects of the review of maternity services in Highland have given us the impetus to make information on the issue easily available.   If anyone would like to forward information for inclusion in this section please get in touch with us at 01955 604648 or email .