Comment: ‘Give NHS teams support they deserve’

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TODAY’S warning that an urgent review is needed to ensure Edinburgh’s maternity services remain “safe” will be deeply worrying to many.

Not least to any expectant ­mother waiting to give birth. In what can be one of the most ­stressful experiences of a woman’s life, knowing that there is a team of experts on hand at all times is the one thing they should be able to take for granted.

Being diverted to another ­hospital because there is no room at the inn or a shortage of staff should be the option in extremis, not, as today’s report reveals, an “increasing” trend.

The problems at the Simpson’s may not be of NHS Lothian’s ­making, being linked to the ­rising birth rates and the increasing number of complex births being carried out there.

It is, however, NHS Lothian’s problem to deal with, and fast.

That a review is being ­carried out is reassuring, ­provided of course, that it is followed by ­appropriate action.

If more staff is the answer then, austerity measures aside, the funding must be found to make this happen. Certainly, there appears to be no shortage of newly qualified midwives looking for work.

The teams at both the Simpson’s and St John’s do an incredible job every day in increasingly difficult circumstances.

It is time to give them the support they deserve and give every mother-to-be in the Lothians the peace of mind she needs.

True spirit

Cats in the kirk? Parrots in the pews? Have we gone barking mad?

Well, no. The Greyfriars animal blessing service invited owners and their pets to remember St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, whose day falls on 
October 4.

And why not? Surely the true Christian spirit should extend to all of God’s creatures.