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Harwich: Protesters take to streets over future of maternity units

13:17 29 March 2014

The protest march in Dovercourt campaigning against the closure of maternity serviices. L-R: Georgina Valentine (12), Juliet Willis and Elizabeth Willis (10).

The protest march in Dovercourt campaigning against the closure of maternity serviices. L-R: Georgina Valentine (12), Juliet Willis and Elizabeth Willis (10).

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Dozens of people have marched protesting against fears two hospital maternity wards may close.

The march took place in Dovercourt this morning over the future of the maternity units in Harwich and Clacton.

The board of directors of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs all maternity services in north east Essex, said the closures were on a “temporary basis”.

The trust has closed the units due to a shortage of midwives at Colchester General Hospital.

But a hospital statement said mothers would still be able to access antenatal and postnatal care at both hospitals - the Fryatt Hospital in Harwich and Clacton District Hospital - seven days a week.

Campaigners fear the move is a stepping stone towards permanent closure of the units, a proposal which was made by the health trust last year but shelved after opposition.

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