As part of the journey towards delivering a consultant-led maternity service at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, NHS Grampian has published a Community Engagement and Feedback Report containing the hopes and views of the local population.

Following the appointment of a dedicated Community Engagement Manager for maternity services across Grampian in July, engagement has focused on Moray. This has supported the ongoing development of a Moray Maternity Service Plan and it is the feedback from this activity with service users and the wider community that is now available.

Simon Bokor-Ingram, Chief Officer for Moray Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Grampian’s Moray portfolio lead, explained: “Our aim is to ensure service changes are developed and delivered collaboratively with a range of stakeholders. We particularly value the contribution of those with lived experience, so engaging with the local community around maternity service provision is key.

“Working with stakeholders and carrying out lots of face-to-face engagement has helped us to understand the impact historic reductions in service have had, as well as to identify themes which will drive service improvements (short, medium and long term) as we begin the journey to expand the range of maternity services and empower more women to give birth locally with confidence.”

Three key recurring themes highlighted in the report are: accessibility, wellbeing and choice. Face-to-face community engagement and feedback submitted through Care Opinion indicated largely positive experiences of care received at Dr Gray’s, with many praising the midwife-led unit as high quality and person-centred. Overall, however, there was strong demand for the consultant-led maternity services NHS Grampian is now working to deliver at Dr Gray’s Hospital and the benefits it will bring.

This maternity engagement report builds on evidence gathered through the wider Dr Gray’s Plan for the Future survey, conducted in June 2022, which received 107 responses. It, together with concerns raised by elected representatives and campaign group Keep MUM, also highlighted the impact not having a consultant-led maternity service had upon the local community.

Hannah Ronald, the Community Engagement Manager whose work is captured in the report, added: “Thank you so much to all members of the community who welcomed me at their groups and took the time to share their experiences with me, as well as everyone who has contributed ideas and personal stories more widely. The breadth of feedback that has been shared forms an invaluable resource.

“I see this as a basis for us to build on in future. Whilst we have not been as visible in the past, I hope that transparently reporting the engagement work we are doing demonstrates that we are listening and are very much committed to developing future service provision alongside the local community.”

View the full report on NHS Grampian’s website:

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