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Maternity Services

I strongly opposed the temporary closure of the maternity units in both Harwich and Clacton. I attended two marches to oppose the maternity closures during the period when they were shut, one in Harwich and a further one in Clacton.

While the current reduced service is better than the complete closure of the maternity units, I believe that a full maternity unit service should be restored to both Harwich and Clacton hospitals.

The underlying issue is the shortage of midwives within the Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust (CHUFT). This has failed to be addressed in recent years and resulted in CHUFT failing to meet the government’s target ratio of midwives to births. In actual fact both the Fryatt hospital (Harwich) and the Clacton hospital were exceeding these ratios and were offering a good service. However, in order to improve the overall statistics for CHUFT chose to close the Fryatt and Clacton maternity units and to base all its midwives in Colchester. This massaging of figures to meet government targets risked local lives and left the whole of Tendring without a maternity unit. While the reduced service now available at the Fryatt Hospital is better than no service, the recent period when expectant mothers from Tendring and Colchester were being sent to Norwich, Cambridge and London (70 miles away) shows that the underlying issue of midwife shortages at CHUFT have not been addressed.

Produced and promoted by Vikki Howard on behalf of Tom Howard
both at 3 Rectory Road, Little Oakley, Harwich , Essex. CO12 5JX © 2015