South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has said that the Scottish Government must take immediate steps to tackle the NHS recruitment crisis in NHS Dumfries and Galloway as it was announced today (Tuesday 4 December) that birthing maternity services at the Clenoch Birthing Centre at the Galloway Community Hospital have been stopped due to a lack of staff.

The move follows concerns from the health board that there were too many midwife vacancies in the west of the region to operate an out of hours maternity service at the Galloway Community Hospital, despite attempts to recruit staff. As a result of the announcement today no births will take place in the Galloway Community Hospital, instead, births have been scheduled to take place in the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

Commenting Colin Smyth MSP said, “The NHS recruitment crisis in Dumfries and Galloway has reached crisis point. We have seen shortages in all healthcare professionals this year, but when service shave to be stopped because those shortages make the service unsafe it really does highlight the utter mismanagement of our NHS by the SNP Government. The failures of workforce planning and not training enough staff over the years is little more than neglect by the Government and it’s peripheral communities out with the central belt such as Wigtownshire that suffer because they are always the areas that have the biggest challenges when it comes to recruitment. The SNP Government must take urgent steps to tackle the recruitment crisis facing our region. The crisis they created will now see expectant mothers drive 70 miles to give birth when many would rather give birth in the Galloway Community Hospital and that isn’t good enough.”

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