Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain, today celebrated the work of Highland midwives during a Holyrood debate which marked the International Day of the Midwife.
Edward Mountain praised the passion and dedication of midwives across the Highlands and welcomed the new midwifery course offered by UHI, which specialises in providing maternity services in remote and rural Scotland.
However, the MSP also cautioned the Scottish Government against measures to downgrade maternity services.
Edward Mountain MSP said in his speech: “When I attended NHS Highland’s Annual Review it was clear that the centralisation of services to Raigmore Hospital and maternity provision in Caithness remain big concerns in the region.”
He continued: “We have seen a concerning repeat of the situation where ambulances are transporting mothers who are in labour to Raigmore. Last year out of the 219 mothers from Caithness that gave birth, only 18 births took place at Caithness General. Numbers like that are of huge concern to families planning to have children in Caithness, many of whom would prefer to give birth locally and avoid the long stressful journey south to Inverness. Centralisation is not working for new families and it’s not working for midwifery units, which under the SNP have become understaffed and overstretched.”
A full transcript of Edward's speech can be found here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/ReportSelectPage.aspx?type=plenary&year=2019&page=0&meeting=-1