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Telegraph vows to fight for local health cause

The Greenock Telegraph has vowed to continue the fight against cutbacks to a local maternity unit.

The paper’s campaign to keep the Rankin Maternity Unit as a consultant-led rather than midwife-led centre has sparked the support of almost 3,000 readers.

They were urged to voice their opinions in writing to the chairman of the local health board, John Mullin.

But despite the campaign, the health board voted overwhelmingly to downgrade the centre to a midwife-led unit, with the nearest consultancy centre now located in Paisley.

Greenock Telegraph managing editor Stewart Peterson said: “It’s a big disappointment but we’ve led with a front page with the headline “It’s not over yet”.

“We are going to take the campaign to the health minister Malcolm Chisholm who has the final say.”

Inverclyde is now the biggest centre of population in Scotland without its own consultant-led maternity unit.

The paper’s editor, David Carnduff, said: “Never before in my experience has there been a public protest matching the one we are now experiencing with the Rankin.

“To ignore the views of the people of Inverclyde, who are united against these proposals, would be a travesty and fly in the face of democracy.”

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP, Duncan McNeil, said: “Anyone looking at the facts can see, not only that there is a cast-iron case for the Rankin, but also that the plan currently on the table does not offer a long-term solution to the pressures facing our NHS.”

Neil Campbell, chief executive of NHS Argyll and Clyde, said: “The current way the service is organised is not sustainable.”

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