MSP is frustrated at Best Start Plan delay

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP is frustrated that the Best Start Plan has been delayed by the Scottish Government and says that this “will push maternity services into further crisis in Highland and Moray”.


The MSP submitted a PQ into the Scottish Parliament asking when in 2022 the The Best Start: five-year plan for maternity and neonatal care, will be published. This plan outlines how to improve maternity and neonatal services in Scotland over a five year period. The last plan was published in January 2017.


The PQ was answered yesterday by the Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, Maree Todd, where she reveals to the MSP that she agreed to a two year extension last year as NHS Boards prioritised the response to Covid-19.


It is now expected that NHS Boards will implement all of the recommendations of the 2017 plan by mid-2024. She further goes on to say that: “the Scottish Government is working with Public Health Scotland on the overall evaluation of the Best Start approach.”


Rhoda Grant MSP said: “This is incredibly frustrating, and I refuse to believe that Covid-19 is wholly responsible for this delay.


“Maternity services in Highland and Moray are in dire need of attention and kicking this plan into the long grass will push services into further crisis in both Highland and Moray.


Rhoda Grant continues: “I have been pressing the Cabinet Secretary for Health to come to Moray and Caithness to get the full picture of the maternity crisis locally and this is something I will continue to press for.”