Essex

Maternity ward in Colchester closed after fault

Colchester General Hospital's maternity ward has been temporarily closed after an electrical fault knocked out the power to some incubators.

The fault damaged the equipment at the special care baby unit - which cares for sick and premature babies.

The hospital said 16 babies inside were unaffected and placed in back-up facilities.

But new admissions are being sent to hospitals in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk instead.

The maternity units that Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust manage at the community hospitals at Clacton and Harwich continue to run as normal, and women still have the option of a home birth.

Julie Firth, the trust's director of nursing, said: "We apologise to the small number of women expecting to give birth in Colchester who will inevitably be inconvenienced and also to their partners and families.

"We are working very hard to resolve the electrical and equipment issues.

"A decision will be taken at a meeting at 1000 BST on Thursday about whether we will by then be ready to resume a full and normal service."

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