PE01839: Review maternity models in remote and rural areas


Petitioner: Maria Aitken on behalf of Caithness Health Action Team


Date Lodged: 02 December 2020

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ask all relevant health boards to review their maternity model to ensure that it meets the needs of remote and rural communities.

Petition History:

SPICe Briefing (113KB pdf)


16 December 2020: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report of Meeting 16 December 2020

10 February 2021: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the Scottish Government has confirmed a number of work streams, relevant to the petition, are currently underway including discussions with regards to changes in rural service provision and arrangements for obstetric transfers across Scotland, the development of an in-utero transfer risk assessment tool which has a specific focus on supporting midwives in remote and rural areas in their decision-making capacity to transfer women who are threatened with pre-term labour and work to establish and expand specialist perinatal services in all health boards. Link to Official Report of Meeting 10 February 2021

Written submissions

PE1839/A: Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport submission of 3 December 2020 (70KB pdf)

PE1839/B: Petitioner submission of 11 December 2020 (19.4KB pdf)

PE1839/C: Scottish Government submission of 28 January 2021 (62KB pdf) 

PE1839/D: Edward Mountain MSP submission of 8 February 2021 (54KB pdf)




    We believe that in deciding to centralise maternity services, health boards are not giving enough consideration to the impact of that decision on the perinatal mental health of the mother, partner, unborn babies, other children in the families and the wider community.

    Do you agree that the Scottish Government should ask all relevant health boards to review its maternity model to ensure that it meets the needs of remote and rural communities?

    Patients should not have to travel long distances to receive maternity services. It puts unacceptable strain on family and mothers.

    Angela Armstrong

    19:36 on 27 Nov 2020

    I was lucky enough to have my children in the local hospital, which allowed my husband to be there and friends to visit and support me. I have no idea how much harder it would be if I had been in Inverness! it is too far and dangerous as well as anti social.

    Ruan Peat

    10:03 on 23 Nov 2020

    Our area is crying out for babies to be born here, mums & their families shouldn't have to go to Inverness to give birth when we have a purpose built unit waiting to be used here!

    Annette Sutherland

    0:56 on 23 Nov 2020

    We should not have to travel 110 miles too give birth!

    Isabel Harris

    15:19 on 21 Nov 2020

    It is so so wrong to be transporting pregnant women, sometimes in labour over 100 miles to Raigmore Hospital. It is illegal to move our pregnant animals, within 10 day of due date so why for humans?

    Linda Levack

    16:05 on 17 Nov 2020

    We should have a working maternity unit in caithness General.

    Barry Smith

    14:04 on 16 Nov 2020

    Our maternity services urgently need to meet the needs of remote and rural communities. The continued centralisation of our health services is a backward step for the physical and mental health of our community.

    Lynne Glover

    22:57 on 15 Nov 2020

    For years the central-belt centrist narrative has understandably not had the north Highlands on its radar. All of a sudden with lock-down, the north Highlands is a Garden of Eden. Please, please. All we ask is for you to walk a mile (or a 107 or so) in our shoes.

    Alan McLeod

    19:54 on 13 Nov 2020

    We should have the same facilities as the central belt has.

    E McEwan

    17:53 on 11 Nov 2020

    Loss of a first class facility in Stranraer disgusting.

    Helen dodds

    10:48 on 11 Nov 2020

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