NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Most of births elsewhere after Dr Gray's maternity downgrading

Baby Arran Image copyright Laura Cowie

Four out of every five Moray babies delivered in the last two months were born away from Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin, after its maternity services were downgraded due to staff shortages.

That 79% figure was in comparison to about 15% before the downgrade in mid-July.

In August and September, 180 babies were born to families from the Moray and Banff areas.

The vast majority of the babies were born at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Fifty-one women still went into labour at Dr Gray's, but 13 of then were also transferred to Aberdeen or Inverness.

Women considered to be at risk now have to have their babies elsewhere due to the Elgin downgrading.

'Safe service'

The latest figures were highlighted at a meeting of the NHS Grampian board.

NHS Grampian medical director Dr Nick Fluck said: "I think the figures are encouraging, they suggest we are providing a safe service, we are getting the pathways right in mums who start in Dr Gray's who need to move."

Last month, an MP wrote to NHS Grampian and the Scottish government amid the ongoing concerns about pregnant women in Moray travelling to Aberdeen to give birth.

It followed reports a mother-to-be from Fochabers had to take a taxi to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Moray MP Douglas Ross said "urgent" action was needed.

More on this story