A COMBINATION of long-term staff sickness and other staff now falling ill is having a temporary impact on the maternity service in the west of the region.
An overriding concern for patient safety has prompted moves to place the on-call service on hold until staffing recovers from short-term seasonal illness.
A very small number of expectant mothers will be affected, and after discussions these mothers have expressed their satisfaction with alternative arrangements to give birth in Dumfries.
A spokesperson for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We always aim to accommodate a mother’s desire about where they give birth, but this has to be balanced with being able to ensure we can provide the full care and support that might be required. Our midwives are not immune from the same seasonal illnesses which are affecting the whole of Scotland. As much as the midwives want to fulfil their roles, they understand better than most the importance of protecting new mothers and their babies from the cold and flu.”
Recruitment is already underway in order to cover the long-term absence due to sickness. Other maternity services in the west of the region continue as normal, and as staff recover from short-term illness it is expected that the on-call service will resume shortly.