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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06169: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 13 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that expectant mothers have been turned away from the maternity unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 24 February 2017

The safety of expectant mothers and their babies is of paramount importance. We want to ensure that Scotland is as safe a place as possible for mothers to give birth.

The temporary divert from the maternity unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was in place for a few hours on 12 January and was caused by a combination of high levels of admissions and a number of women and babies developing complications. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde took the rights steps to protect patient safety, ensuring the highest standards of care for women and babies in Glasgow.

We expect Health Boards to have robust contingency measures in place such as these to ensure the safety and quality of patient care. The Health Board has, nonetheless, rightly apologised to the very small number of expectant mothers who were sent to other maternity facilities in the board area.

This Government had already instructed a review of all maternity and neonatal services across the country, which was published on 20 January. This review, based on clinical and expert evidence, made 76 recommendations for a new model of maternity and neonatal care for delivery of the best and safest possible maternity and neonatal services, in the face of changing demographics and birth rates. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will take full account of this review before progressing any proposals for maternity services in Inverclyde and the Vale of Leven. However, no decisions have been made and these proposals must still be subject to formal public consultation and, ultimately, Ministerial approval.