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Midwife on call service set to be introduced at CGH

By SPP Reporter

24 hour obstetrician cover has been axed at Caithness General Hospital.
24 hour obstetrician cover has been axed at Caithness General Hospital.

CHANGES to how maternity services in Wick operate will be officially introduced tomorrow with a midwife on call service replacing 24 hour obstetrician cover.

Monday is the first day midwifery staff based at the Henderson Wing at Caithness General Hospital (CGH) will provide an on-call service from 8pm to 8am.

The move comes after NHS Highland voted to axe 24-hour obstetrician cover at Caithness General Hospital in Wick in November.

A review carried out after the death of a newborn baby at the unit in September 2015 said it will be safer to operate a midwife-led service and send any complicated births to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, more than 100 miles away.

The move has angered protestors in Caithness who believe downgrading services and forcing mothers to travel long distances to give birth is putting lives in danger.

Consultant obstetricians covering CGH will no longer be on-call overnight or available after 5pm and at weekends.

Instead if the local midwife requires advice when the local obstetrician is not on duty they will contact the duty consultant obstetrician at Raigmore Hospital.

The move is the next step in the transition to move to fully implementing a midwife-led Community Maternity Unit (CMU) by Saturday, April 1.

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