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Maternity Eye On 2003-04 Index

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Eye On Health Services In Caithness
Maternity  - North Action Group

From NHS Highland Board 10 March 04

The report on maternity services in Caithness from the independent group led by Professor Calder has been published.

A spokesman for NHS Highland said:
"We have now received the report and have placed it immediately onto our website so that the people of Caithness can have direct access to the full report. Professor Calder will be attending the meeting of Highland NHS Board on Tuesday 16th March 2004 to present the report and to answer questions from the Board on the report."

He added:
"The Board will not be making a decision at the meeting on the 16th March about any precise courses of action in connection with the service. Instead it will reflect on the discussions and the report itself, which we have only just received, and will decide what course of action to take at a later date."

The full report is available from the NHS Board's website later today at http://www.show.scot.nhs.uk/hhb/ 
A copy has also been sent to Caithness.org. Click Here For Caithness.org Copy

A copy is available now in pdf format from Chris Meecham

The report on maternity services in Caithness was commissioned by Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in the light of ongoing concerns about the sustainability of the current specialist led service.

The independent group writing the report consisted of two midwives, two obstetricians and one paediatrician. Each of them is regarded as experts in their particular field. They were given the following remit:

To consider and make recommendations on
The balance of risk between the current consultant led service and of not having this service in the
The professional sustainability of the present arrangements
What model of maternity service offers the best balance in terms of safety, sustainability and
  accessibility for the women in Caithness and Sutherland
What mechanisms need to be in place to sustain this model.

At the meeting, Professor Calder, the convenor of the review group, will be invited to share his report with the Board. The purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that Board members are satisfied that the advice it contains is robust, that all options have been considered and that the report has met the remit it was given.

There has been a lot of public anxiety and concern expressed during this process and the Board is very aware of that. In order that the public's views are heard by Board members, community representatives who met with Professor Calder during his visit - including members of the North Action Group - will be able to fully participate in the discussion at the invitation of the Chairman. These people have already been written to with a personal invitation to attend.

An invitation to observe the proceedings has also gone out to members of the full North Action Group and to staff representatives. As usual the media will be invited to report on the entire proceedings.

We hope that this will give the public of Caithness the reassurance they need that the debate will be handled in a transparent, honest and open manner.

We understand the current concerns about this review and we are determined that the outcome of this process will be a safe, sustainable and women-centred maternity service for the people of Caithness.