Financial support will be given to Moray families who are forced to travel through to Aberdeen for maternity services.
Maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital were downgraded in 2018 to midwife-led, meaning mums with medium or high-risk pregnancies have to give birth in Aberdeen.
This means that the majority of Moray babies are now born away from the region.
Apparently, it is a “temporary” measure but has been in place for almost three years now.
Financial support offered
NHS Grampian announced that they would now be offering financial support to families who need to travel through to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
They will do this through a number of schemes, and patients will be able to claim money back.
All families who have to travel through to Aberdeen can claim up to 130 miles in travel expenses.
Accommodation will also be provided if the partner needs to stay in Aberdeen overnight, to a maximum of two nights.
Financial support for Moray families travelling to Aberdeen for maternity careChanges to the way that maternity…
A statement from NHS Grampian added: “This can be a worrying prospect for many local families.
“Support is available to help you with the cost of travel and accommodation.”
To access this support, you can ask your community midwife who will be able to advise you on how to make claim.
Any questions should also be directed towards them.
Still more questions to be answered
Campaign group Keep Mum has written to NHS Grampian with added questions about how people can claim this financial support.
They added: “It’s very important that everyone involved in making decisions about Moray Maternity Services appreciates that going from Aberdeen to Moray isn’t really ‘popping home from Aberdeen.
People have been contacting us all day with queries relating to the ‘travelling expenses/accommodation post’ from Dr…
“If NHS Grampian had made any real effort to restore our consultant maternity service, then we wouldn’t have to keep on having these thoroughly depressing discussions.”
The questions they want to be answered are:
- How do people actually get the payment? Is it straightforward? We don’t want people to have to jump through multiple hoops at a vulnerable time of their lives.
- Presumably, all families means that everyone will get the payment – there will be no means test?
- How much is the payment for 130 miles?
- Will the expenses be backdated to when the unit was downgraded in July 2018?
- During the last 3 years, some people paid for their accommodation in advance when they were given an induction date. However, their induction was postponed and the timeframe became unknown due to the ward being busy. Can they be reimbursed for the cost of the accommodation? What will be the stance for people in this position going forward? Can they book accommodation in confidence that, if plans change because there are too many patients in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, they will be refunded?
- What happens if multiple journeys take place? For example, if a woman is sent to Aberdeen and then sent home before she has her baby? She then has to return to Aberdeen at a later date to have her baby. Will she receive expenses for that journey?
- What happens if the woman is in AMH for more than 2 nights? Will the partner be asked to leave?