Mum’s the Word
Leanchoil Hospital played a central role in the care of generations of mothers and babies in Forres and surrounding areas. The first caesarean operation north of Aberdeen was performed at Leanchoil in 1924 and in 1940, it became the first maternity hospital in Morayshire.
Plans for a maternity wing had been discussed since 1935 along with a nurses’ home and other modernisation plans. Work to extend the wards and add sunrooms was completed in 1938 but the maternity wing was completed only after gift of £17000 made by Lady Grant of Logie. [Fig 1].
Many babies were born at Leanchoil and the hospital also cared for new mothers transferred back from Raigmore Hospital after more complicated births. It was common for mothers to spend a week or ten days resting and recuperating before going home. [Fig 2]. The restful surroundings and personal attention of nurses was central to maternity care at Leanchoil. In the 1980s, plans were put forward to upgrade obstetric care and centralise birth services to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin and to close Leanchoil’s maternity unit. A sustained campaign was launched to save the service was led by local GP James Anderson. [Fig 3]. The battle was successful and led to another ten years of operation although the maternity unit did finally close in 1997 with all services moved to Dr Gray’s.
LEANCHOIL TRUST CATCHMENT AREA