Public meetings planned

NHS Grampian has confirmed dates of the open meetings being held as part of its formal consultation on proposed changes to the maternity service in Grampian.

The meetings will give the public an opportunity to find out more about the proposals and give their views on them. The meetings are being held from 1pm-3pm and 6pm-8pm to enable as many people as possible to attend.

The full list of dates and venues are:

Tuesday January 24: Fraserburgh, Assembly of God Church Main Hall

Thursday January 26: Inverurie, Hopeville Social Club

Tuesday January 31: Elgin,Town Hall Supper Room

Thursday February 2: Peterhead, Arbuthnot House

Wednesday February 8: Banff, Banff Springs Hotel

Thursday February 16: Stonehaven, Invercarron Resource Centre

The public do not need to book a place, but the health board would prefer to have contact details should the meetings need to be postponed because of bad weather. Details can be left on (01224) 550950 or email nhsg.consult@nhs.net, providing your name, contact telephone number, and which session you plan to attend.

People can also give their views by completing the feedback questionnaire, e- mailing comments to nhsg.consult@nhs.net or by writing to Freepost, NHS Grampian. The consultation paper and feedback questionnaire are available from www.nhsgrampian.org/maternityreview or via the contact information above. All responses to the consultation must be received by 22 March 2012.

Currently parts of the maternity service are not set up in the right way, or located in the right place, to address some of the real challenges staff are facing.

NHS Grampian say that the the proposals aim to provide a service that is safer, more sustainable and which will better meet the needs of all women and families across Grampian – and women from other areas who need specialist care at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

Under the plans, three community maternity units (CMU) in Aberdeen, Peterhead and Inverurie would replace the two birth units in Aboyne and Fraserburgh. A third in Banff has not been operational for two years.

These proposals will also help reduce pressure on consultant units at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin and improve the experience of women and families who use these services.

Final proposals will go back to the Board of NHS Grampian for approval, but a final decision on any changes rests with Scottish Ministers.

Public meetings have already been held in Huntly, Aberdeen and Aboyne.