Expectant mothers face 70-mile switch from Stranraer to Dumfries

Image source, NBBJ/Paul McMullin
Image caption,
Expectant mothers will give birth in the new Dumfries hospital rather than in Stranraer

Expectant mothers in south west Scotland are facing a 70-mile switch in their plans to give birth.

They had been set to use maternity services at the Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer but will now use the new Dumfries Infirmary.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway said it was due to a combination of long-term staff sickness and others becoming ill.

A "very small number" of women have been affected but have "expressed their satisfaction" with the amended plans.

A spokesperson for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: "We always aim to accommodate a mother's desire about where they give birth, but this has to be balanced with being able to ensure we can provide the full care and support that might be required.

"Our midwives are not immune from the same seasonal illnesses which are affecting the whole of Scotland.

"As much as the midwives want to fulfil their roles, they understand better than most the importance of protecting new mothers and their babies from the cold and flu."

The health board said recruitment was already under way in order to cover the long-term absence due to sickness.

It added that other maternity services in the west of the region were continuing as normal and that as staff recovered from short-term illness it was expected that the on-call service would resume shortly.

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