Protests over maternity service cuts in Harwich and Clacton

Campaigners are worried the maternity unit closures could be permanent

Two protest marches against the decision to shut birthing units in Harwich and Clacton have been held over the weekend.

The Colchester Hospital Trust, which runs the centres, said it needed to transfer the staff to Colchester because of a shortage of midwives.

One protest march took place at 10:00 BST, organised by the Labour Party.

While another march took place on Saturday, organised by the Conservative Party.

Both protest marches ended at Clacton Hospital.

'People feel angry'

Tim Young, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Clacton, said, "The closure of our maternity units has caused a great deal of concern and anger across the community."

Conservative MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell said: "The decision to shut our local maternity unit ahead of consultation is completely wrong. Local people have a right to feel angry."

Clacton and District Hospital The Colchester Hospital Trust's board of directors will review its decision on maternity services in Clacton when it meets on 12 June

Colchester Hospital Trust said in a statement: "Ante-natal and post-natal care continues to be provided seven days a week at both the Clacton and Harwich units, but the temporary change made in March does mean that women are no longer giving birth there.

"Pregnant women who had opted to give birth at those units, which are both for low-risk women, are given a choice of a home birth or the midwifery-led unit at Colchester General Hospital.

"When the trust made the temporary change last month, it apologised to the small number of women and families who would be affected.

"The trust's board of directors will review its decision when it meets on 12 June."

More on This Story

BBC Essex

Weather

Chelmsford

Min. Night 15 °C

Features

  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Sailing rock in Death ValleyRock and roll

    Mystery of Death Valley's 'sliding rocks' solved - and more tales


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.