A BID for government funding to boost north Essex’s maternity services has been rejected.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter yesterday revealed more than 100 hospitals had shared a £25million fund to upgrade maternity units.

Ipswich Hospital was given £650,000 for its maternity wards, but a bid to support units at Colchester, Clacton and Harwich was turned down.

Bosses at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust refused to disclose how much they had applied for and what it would have been spent on.