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  1. ITV Report

Fears that closure of maternity unit is putting mothers at risk

Katy Griggs is worried the closure of a maternity unit puts mothers at risk Photo: ITV News Anglia

A woman thought to be the last to give birth maternity unit in Clacton fears halting births there puts some expectant mothers at risk.

Katy Griggs's daughter Darcy was born just two days before the unit closed, along with one in Harwich, because of a shortage of midwives.

Health chiefs say the closure is temporary and they'll review the decision in June.

Baby Darcy arrived two days early and was one of the last to be born in the Clacton unit Credit: ITV News Anglia

Darcy arrived two days earlier than expected; any later and her mother Katy Griggs would've had to give birth at Colchester General Hospital.

Katy said: "Because she arrived quite quickly I don't think we would've made it to Colchester, I think she'd had been born in the car so it was good we had Clacton available to us to get to reasonably quickly."

The maternity units at Clacton and Harwich have been closed until at least June because of a shortage of midwives.

Clacton maternity unit closed in March 2014. Credit: ITV News Anglia
Health chiefs say the closure is temporary and they'll review the decision in June. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Katy Griggs, who also has two sons and has given birth twice at Clacton's maternity unit and once at Colchester Hospital, says the care is more personal and attentive in Clacton.

She said: "The midwives at Colchester are all very nice but they are very busy so they just don't have the time like the Clacton midwives to spend with you during and after labour. Especially if you're breastfeeding you do need a lot of support and at Colchester the midwives unfortunately just don't have the time to be able to give you that support."

Katy Griggs hopes she isn't one of the last to give birth at the Clacton maternity unit Credit: ITV News Anglia

Katy worries that expectant mothers who have quick labours like hers won't make it safely to Colchester.

She hopes the closure of the maternity unit in Clacton is only a temporary one and that she won't be among the last to give birth there.