Maternity Review - Thurso Meeting
14th March 2001
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.
Jamie Stone MSP and councillors once again heard the feelings local people about possible downgrading of maternity services in the county.
The same scenario of the need to keep skills up and possible shortages of qualified staff were put forward but these were firmly rejected by local people faced with the prospect of women travelling up to 130 miles to Inverness especially in winter conditions such as Caithness had in the last few weeks.
These are the biggest turnouts Thurso and Wick have seen with people coming from all parts of the county to hear the arguments on what is seen as a life or death issue for women and their babies. None of the local people want to see the downgrading of the service they already have. People want a quality service and it is up to the managers within the health service and the politicians to see it is delivered.
Thurso has also seen an upturn in its local economy with major recruitment by employers. This could be put in jeopardy if it was felt Caithness had second rate health services. Employees might be reluctant to come to an area with poorer maternity services especially younger families still having new babies.
The MUMS action committee will be taking things forward.
[This article has been transferred here from our archives]
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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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.