MUMS and midwives came together for the first time since a vital service collapsed.

More than 200 mums were left in the lurch after One to One Midwives ceased trading with two days notice.

The firm was based in north-west England, but provided services for the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

Colchester Hospital stepped up and took on the women who were left without a midwife.

Mums and midwives from One to One met for a picnic in Colchester’s Castle Park to say goodbye.

They also thanked each other for the support both before and after the collapse of the service.

The Essex lead for One to One, Kim Gamby, said it was an emotional day.

She said: “At least 50 women with their partners and other children attended.

“The idea of the picnic was for us to have a chance to thank the ladies for the amazing support they have shown us.

“It was a chance to actually say goodbye to them as many were not seen again as we only had 48 hours notice to contact them.”

Colchester Hospital confirmed three members of staff from One to One have been employed so far.

Last month 20 women who were left without a midwife when the service collapsed gave birth at the hospital.

Kim said most of the midwives still looking for work had not taken up the hospital’s offer as they did not want to work in a hospital setting with a shift pattern.

After the firm collapsed it described the decision as “regrettable”.

A dedicated helpline has been set up for mums cared for by the service.

Anyone needing information or advice can call 01206 742369.

For out of hours urgent health concerns, for example waters breaking or if you think you’re in labour, call 01206 845240.