Oswestry maternity unit will be closed to births for a further two weeks.

Health bosses confirmed today that the suspension of inpatient services at the midwife-led unit will continue until 8am on Saturday, March 10 and not reopen on Sunday, February 25 as had been previously expected.

The MLU is currently closed to births as part of a two-week extended period after being closed overnight on six separate occasions since January 1.

Sarah Jamieson, Head of Midwifery, said the decision had been made to ensure the safe care of mums using Shropshire’s maternity services.: "We know the subject of our Midwife Led Units continues to be an emotive one, but this decision is about the choice our women are making and about maintaining their safety.

"Women will still have the choice of giving birth at other MLUs as well as our Consultant Led Unit. Home births will also be maintained during this period.

"We will continue to have conversations with women and families using our maternity services to understand how best we can meet their needs at this time."

The unit will remain open between 8am and 8pm for antenatal and postnatal services.

Meanwhile, Shropshire's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking women and families across the county who have used maternity services to share their experience and views.

The new Maternity Voices Partnership will consist of a team of women, commissioners and providers (midwives and doctors) who will work together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care.

Its first meeting was due to take place yesterday in Shrewsbury with a view to learn more about the partnership.

Jane Randall Smith, chief officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, said: “The Local Maternity System Plan aims to turn the vision of the national Better Births report into a reality for the residents of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

"We are committed to listening to, and meeting the needs and desires of mothers, so it is essential that we hear their voices as we move forward. This is a real opportunity to shape the future of Maternity Voice Partnership and I would urge anyone with an interest to get involved.”

For more information or to register your interest please call 01952 580478 or email maternity.voices@nhs.net