CLACTON MP Douglas Carswell has raised concerns about the future of maternity services in Clacton and Harwich at Parliament.

Mr Carswell questioned ministers in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Fears have been raised for the future of maternity units in Clacton and Harwich after they were closed to new births.

Health bosses said the move is temporary to cover staff shortages in Colchester, but campaigners fear the units – which were already the subject of a consultation – could shut for good.

Speaking during a health debate, Mr Carswell said: “There is due to be a consultation on the future of maternity units at Clacton and Harwich hospitals.

“The other week, the management team at the already troubled Colchester Trust decided to shut the units right away.

“This has caused understandable anger and concern locally.

“Will the minister write to the board to ensure that they don’t prejudice the outcome of the consultation and ensure that all decisions are made on the basis of facts, not managerial muddle?"

Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health Services, agreed to look into the concerns, but claimed the decision to shut the units was “temporary” to help midwife shortages elsewhere.

Following the debate, Mr Carswell said: “I wanted to let the minister know how concerned people feel.

“I am not convinced by promises that this is only a temporary move - it all seems a little too convenient.

“I want to make sure that what local NHS bosses are telling the minister in London, and what the rest of us are being told here on the ground are one and the same thing."