Maternity Review - Wick Meeting - MUMS Pull In the Crowds
13th March 2001
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.
Notwithstanding the threat to Obstetricians people said they wanted more than just to retain the services they wanted improvements such as a Paediatrician service also to ensure better facilities in Caithness. It was standing room only in Wick with over 500 people so over to you Thurso and the West side lets hear your voice loud and clear at the town Hall on Tuesday night.
Councillor Deirdre Steven got a huge round of applause as she demanded that the services of consultant obstetricians be retained in Caithness. Any hint from the Health Board side of suggesting that a mid-wife led service would still provide an excellent service were greeted with howls of disbelief.
Many questions were aimed at the panel and several examples given of how mothers and babies would have died in the past if it were not for the expertise available in the county. Recent weather conditions were highlighted to show how impossible it was to reach Inverness when road, rail and air services marooned Caithness.
Also highlighted were the increasing employment opportunities now coming to Caithness which were at least partly based on the good health services available and this could be put in jeopardy were they to be downgraded.
The chairwoman had difficulty in closing the meeting following John Rosie's impassioned plea and determination to fight any lowering of the standards of maternity services.
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Caithness Health Action Team would like to give our sincere thanks to this fantastic team who have raised a significant amount for us £1,765 .This money will be used to help our community. They have cycled a distance of 874 miles equivalent of John o Groats to Lands end journey.
Caithness Health Action Team along with the League of Friends for Caithness General hospital wanted to help patients and staff in our local Caithness hospitals. We contacted NHSH and agreed that providing high quality Samsung tablets ,with protective wipe able covers would be an excellent way to help ,especially as at the moment there is currently no visiting allowed due to the pandemic.
When Bruce de Wert of Georgesons Solicitors heard of the distress of new Mums having to drive back from Inverness with their newborn in danger, he knew he had to do something. The problem is that newborns cannot sit in car seats without compressing their lungs and it is a long way from Inverness to Caithness! And, so, he announced that this year the charity for Wills Week would be CHAT who provide lie flat car seats for for newborn babies.
On Friday 18th October four of the CHAT's team visited the new Balfour Hospital in Kirkwall, Orkney. The main purpose of the visit was partly to see then hospital but in particular how maternity services work there.
Operations had to be cancelled across NHS Highland because hospitals simply could not cope, new figures reveal. Data published by ISD Scotland shows that 45 operations were cancelled in May 2019 due to non-clinical reasons such as not having enough staff or unclean equipment.
Mikie Aitken , Quality Control Inspector for Subsea7 Wester Site ,recently won a thousand pounds for a safety award while working on the Equinor Snorre project to be given to a charity of his choice. He chose to donate to Caithness Health Action Team 100mile helper kits which are given to Caithness General Hospital , Community Maternity Unit who give the kits to local women that have to be quickly transferred to Raigmore maternity hospital in an emergency situation.
A visit of the Labour Party Leader in Scotland Richard Leonard MSP accompanied by Rhoda Grant MSP heard from the third sector and Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) about problems arising to the community from changes to health provision and wide range of topics. Roger Saxon the local Labour party organiser and Alan Tait from Caithness Voluntary Group facilitated the meeting at the Pulteney Centre in Wick.
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A popular resource for pregnant women and their families has been updated to include the latest information on perinatal mental health support. A refreshed edition of Scotland's ‘Ready Steady Baby' publication was launched today by Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick.
With respect to the new hospital at Aviemore Dr Boyd Peters said "We have been on this journey since 2012 and the land purchase is a significant step towards securing much needed modern healthcare facilities for the population of Badenoch and Strathspey" After seven years it finally reaches the planning stage so that must mean yet another two or even three years until its on the ground and working. In Caithness redesign of health services has been going on and on for several years and recently we have the early stages of a "hub" idea being promoted.