Maternity scanning services in Argyll and Bute are set to be improved thanks to additional funding from the area’s community health partnership.
The move will see extra cash made available to recruit midwives to undergo the required year-long training qualification which would then allow the CHP to develop local obstetric scanning services.
The announcement follows a campaign by Labour’s general election candidate, Mary Galbraith, to improve the local services available to expectant mums.
Pat Tyrrell, lead nurse for the Argyll and Bute Community Health Partnership, said: “I am delighted to announce that the CHP core management team has agreed to fund a proposal to develop scanning services locally in Argyll and Bute.
“This is excellent news for women and their families and will significantly reduce the number of journeys that women will have to make to hospitals in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“We used to carry out scanning in Argyll and Bute to confirm pregnancies and additional scans were sometimes provided in some areas if consultants and radiographers were available. The service was though extremely inconsistent and we have never been in a position to provide as a matter of routine the two main antenatal scans that women receive elsewhere in Scotland.
“A recent review of the service had also recommended that we stop providing any antenatal scans by midwives until we could meet the national requirements for this service.
“Now that this funding has been made available we will be setting up a Project Team to move things forward with the aim of providing a robust, equitable, local service. This will require those health professionals who will be carrying out scans to undertake a one year accredited post graduate course and it is anticipated that we will be able to fully implement the new service from the autumn of 2016.
“We are keen to involve local women in the Project Team and we are also hoping to establish Maternity Service Users Groups across Argyll and Bute to work with us in the development of the new services.”
“I will also ensure that we regularly update the public on the progress of this project so that our local communities are kept fully informed of the latest developments.”
If anyone would like to become involved in the project team, they can contact the Argyll and Bute CHP’s public involvement manager, Caroline Cecil, on 01546 605680 or Caroline.Cecil@nhs.net.