STRUCTURE: Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust has outlined plans to reconfigure services at two coastal maternity units that it temporarily closed.

Midwife led units in Clacton and Harwich were closed by the trust in March over concerns about low levels of midwife staffing at Colchester General Hospital.

They were re-opened in June but only as “on demand” birthing units - a move that sparked criticism from residents and MPs.

The FT’s board has approved plans to either maintain the current level of service or return to the 24/7 service previously offered at the units.

Consultation over the plans is expected to begin next month pending approval from the North Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and Essex County Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee.  

A CCG spokeswoman said: “Maternity services have been subject for review for years. We’re really keen on all sides to get a resolution to this so that there’s stability for everybody.”