FOR many expectant mums last week’s announcement that Harwich and Clacton’s birthing units would reopen couldn’t have come sooner.

Plans for births at the coastal units were left in doubt when health bosses shut the units in March to cover staff shortages at Colchester Hospital.

But last Wednesday the hospital trust board decided to reopen the units as “on demand” birthing centres from next month.

This means if mums go into labour at night they will have to contact the on-call midwife by phoning the Juno Suite in Colchester.

But mums and campaigners are divided over the whether this is what is really best for mums.

Vanessa Dare, of Oakland Road, Dovercourt, gave birth to baby Darcey at Harwich last July.

She said: “We definitely still want it to be 24/7 but to have it open like this is better than not at all."