Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has welcomed confirmation from NHS Dumfries and Galloway that positive steps have been undertaken to recruit staff to ensure the Clenoch Birthing Centre in Stranraer can re-open.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP had written to the Health Board’s Chief Executive Jeff Ace to raise his concerns, following the news that expectant mothers will have to travel to Dumfries in order to give birth.
In response, Mr Ace has confirmed that a formal offer of a position has been offered to one midwife in the final stages of her training, who will start upon completion of the training programme. In addition, the health board have recruited two out of their three rotational posts with a further round of advertisements planned to fill the final gaps.
Midwives have also participated in interview panels with the University of the West of Scotland as a way of trying to recruit staff to midwifery and identifying those who wished to be based in the west of the region.
Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “I am pleased that the Health board are taking a number of steps in order to solve the recruiting issues which have made the Clenoch Birthing Centre unavailable to expectant mothers in Stranraer and the West.
“With two rotational posts filled and another formal offer made, I hope that this can go some way to allievating the staffing issues and once again give mothers the choice to carry out their birth in their home area.
“The last thing we need is expectant mothers travelling along the notorious A75 on a dark and wintry night, so I hope that the Health Board’s efforts continue to prove successful in terms of recruitment, and I will be continuing to monitor the situation.”