Redesign of women's health in Caithness

Redesign of women's health in Caithness

Caithness women have been put in a situation of danger since 2016. Our maternity was downgraded to a midwife led unit on grounds of safety, I totally agree it had become unsafe but the outcome has become far more dangerous for every women in Caithness. The EQIA for maternity wrongly states CGH doesn't have a HDU, it does and it words a small reduction in births, 200 to 8 is more than small. There is no confidence in the circumstances for emergencies. Consequently it has also taken our gynaecology service with it. We have 1 consultant left but nothing in place for emergencies. Now although rare placental abruptions, ectopic pregnancies, ovarian torsion and haemorrhages does happen. Stabilise and transfer is not safe. Caithness needs to return its rota of 3 full time consultants for Gynaecology like Orkney then the Gynae team will be able to step in when an obstetric emergency presents. This will bring much more confidence to the CMU. Best start for babies is as close to home as possible. Women deserve to have gynae care locally, not over 100 miles away. We deserve to have more availability to scans too. Scans detect danger. Introduction to Gynae nurses would make a massive difference to Caithness too, especially for long term gynae conditions like Endometriosis. This would massively help A&E and make women feel safe. The current situation is breaching our human rights. We deserve safe local services. Before a women looses her life...


The gynae services were lost as there was not enough support from key areas within NHSH and sadly mostly focused on obstetrics. The gynae clinical lead in Caithness had a strong voice with their team for advocating the removal of the gynae services yet after the removal of this service were given this role. Women in Caithness should be greatly concerned about who claim to be fighting for our best interests. Reality, NHSH are never going to re-adopt the 2016 model. It has to be forward thinking futuristic models of care, that will mean more technology required but it will always involve travel for specialist care. Raigmore are aware of the travel constraints and accomodate wherever it is possible.

This situation is replicated in Moray with the downgrade of Dr Gray's. It puts additional pressure and undue stress on woman and families

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