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Caithness News Bulletins May 2004

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Lesley Riddoch Show At Wick Features Caithness Maternity Issue - Friday 21 May 04
The Lesley Riddoch Show on Friday 21 May 2004 featured the problem of cuts to consultant led services at Caithness General Hospital.

The show was a public relations disaster for the NHS Highland Health Board as Health Board chairman Gary Coutts in Inverness backed by Professor Calder in Glasgow tried to deal with point after point raised by local mothers, midwives, North Action Group members fronted by George Bruce the chairman. Caithness Area Convenor David Flear and councillors Graham Smith and Bill Fernie. 

The crowd at Safeways car park was in no mood to give ground in the arguments to retain consultant led services and hammered the arguments for downgrading put forward by Gary Coutts and Professor Calder.

North Action Group members were well represented in the audience and Martin Duffy, Aelix Bain, Lynne Duncan and others all gave several reasons why the unit should retain a consultant led service.  Midwife Margaret Hart excelled in her explanations of why Caithness was different to other areas referred to by The Health Board.  The distance factor was once again mentioned by several speakers.  The possibility of fatalities both in the past and future were mentioned.

Lesley Riddoch Show From BBC Radio Scotland At Wick Featured Caithness Maternity Issue

Mothers and North Action Group Head To Head With Health Board On Lesley Riddoch Show
Caithness Folk United Batter Health Board Chairman And Professor Calder - Listen Yourself - Who Is Right?
If you missed the programme you can hear it for the next seven days on Listen Again at BBC Radio Scotland.  Follow the link and then select Lesley Riddoch Show for Friday.  The programme heard from Health Board chair Gary Coutts and Professor Calder who produced the report with recommendations about Caithness Maternity.  Hear local mothers, midwife Margaret Hart, Convenor David Flear, NAG Chairman George Bruce, Councillors and NAG members Graham Smith and Bill Fernie, Wcik Community Council chair and NAG member Aeliix Miller, Martin Duffy NAG member plus others.

North Action Group Edinburgh Maternity Protest Support Grows From The Capital
the North Action Group are taking the maternity protest to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 17 June.  Support is coming in from people in Edinburgh who have Caithness connections but the numbers look set to increase as local trade unions are sending supporters from Caithness and Harwell.  UKAEA is granting time off to a few members to attend the protest as NAG members set out to lobby MSP's  If you are in Edinburgh and want to join the NAG demo at the Scottish Parliament at The Mound get in touch with any NAG member.

North Action Group Members Will Again Attend Health Board Meeting on 1 June
NAG members are determined to let no opportunity to show that people in the northern Highland cannot be ignored and will once again send a delegation to the board meeting on 1 June at Assynt House, Inverness.  The feeling is that NAG members are prepared to travel  the miles to Inverness and Edinburgh so that mothers to be and their families do not have to go over 100 miles from Wick or 130 miles from North West Sutherland if maternity services are down-graded.