Councillors call for Clacton and Harwich maternity services to be retained (From Clacton and Frinton Gazette)
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Councillors call for Clacton and Harwich maternity services to be retained
7:30am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNING councillors have called for all maternity services at Clacton and Harwich hospitals to be retained.
A consultation into a major shake-up of maternity services in the district, which could see maternity unit or downgraded to birthing centres, was postponed last month.
North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to delay the shake-up after recommendations from a team of experts from the Department of Health, who said local health bosses should focus on improving standards at hospitals in Colchester first.
Tendring Council Labour opposition leader Ivan Henderson said midwives had contacted him anonymously to speak out about the issue because they were afraid to do so in public.
He said: “If we accept a reduction in services we will never get them back. We should hold fast and protect both the units.
“What have we come to now when midwives anonymously put notes through doors.
“We have an NHS where those working want to raise concerns but are afraid to do so in public because of the consequences.”
Council leader Peter Halliday said because health bosses had assured the council the shake-up was not a money-saving measure that the authority should lobby for improved services.
Despite the consultation being postponed, the council agreed on a motion calling for it to lobby at all level to secure a commitment to retain and improve all existing maternity services at Clacton and Harwich maternity units.