NEW and parents-to-be are invited to three public meetings about the future of maternity services in north Essex.

A consultation is due to be launched soon by the North East Essex clinical commissioning group on the childbirth services offered by Colchester Hospitals Trust.

Much of the focus is expected to centre on whether Clacton and Harwich’s maternity units, which were temporarily shut for births this year, are open 24/7 or only on demand.

The health forum meetings, hosted by the Maternity Services Liaison Committee, will feature presentations from the committee’s chairman VIcky Chamberlain, maternity services commissioner Louise Hagger and a senior midwife.

The discussions will look at ensuring mums have the right information so they can make informed choices about where they give birth and receive ante-natal and post-natal care.

The meetings take place at the TVS building in Rosemary Road, Clacton next Friday at 2pm, at Colchester’s Primary Care Centre in Turner Road on Monday, September 1 at 7pm, and at Long Meadows Community Centre in Dovercourt on Wednesday, September 3 at 10am.