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Health campaigners take case to Holyrood


By SPP Reporter


Chat representatives Iain Baikie, Ron Gunn, Nicola Sinclair, Maria Aitken and Bill Fernie arrive at Holyrood to see health minister Shona Robison.
Chat representatives Iain Baikie, Ron Gunn, Nicola Sinclair, Maria Aitken and Bill Fernie arrive at Holyrood to see health minister Shona Robison.

Bill Fernie, chairman of Caithness Health Action Team (Chat), says the request was made following information about the way the boardhandled the downgrading of the maternity unit of Caithness GeneralHospital.

Mr Fernie, one of five Chat members who met with the minister inEdinburgh on Wednesday, said the material calls into question “a lot ofthe ethics surrounding the decision.”

He would not reveal any further details as the campaigners want to giveMs Robison an opportunity to study the information and respond to it.The minister handed the material to her chief medical officer and saidshe would reply to Chat.

Chat is unhappy 91 per cent ofwomen in Caithness have to go to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to givebirth. That has happened since the Wick unit was downgraded from aconsultant to a midwife-led facility. “Births at Caithness General havecollapsed. Most women have to travel 100 miles to have their babies.Unless there is a serious issue, we feel they should not have to makethat journey. The travel is traumatic and expensive for families,” hesaid.

Mr Fernie thinks it unlikely Caithness General will return to aconsultant-led unit but believes more babies could be delivered atCaithness .



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