BIRTHS at Harwich's Maternity Unit have rocketed in the same week a new report claims fully reopening the round-the-clock centre would be “unviable”.

An external report published this week looks at maternity services across north-east Essex.

The report also claims trying to staff the two Tendring units means there aren’t enough midwives in Colchester and that an “urgent review” of the service is needed.

But it has now emerged that births at Clacton and Harwich are increasing since the units reopened after their shock closure in Marach to cover staff shortages in Colchester.

Before the closure, they were handling a combined average of five births a week.

But NHS director Amanda Hallums said: “I think we had seven at Clacton last week and we’re coming up to close to five a week at Harwich."

The future of maternity care at Clacton and Harwich is set to go to consulation next month.