MOTHERS have reacted to the suspension of births at Andover’s hospital with concerns for the service’s future.

As the Advertiser reported last week, births at Andover War Memorial Hospital’s maternity centre have been suspended while Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, allows for a review of its care to be carried out.

Women who have given birth at the hospital have come out in praise for the service and hope the suspension will not lead to a permanent closure despite the trust insisting it is and always has been a temporary measure.

Mother-of-five Marina Gabriel said: “The midwives at ABC [Andover Birth Centre] are so nice and friendly, they helped me a lot especially when I was 17 and a first-time mum.

“They had the time to show me and other mums how to bath our newborns, Winchester never had that time.

“Even though I’m not pregnant now, I feel for other mums who are, who chose ABC to have their babies. It’s a service that shouldn’t close, we need it, Andover is a growing town.”

The trust is reassuring no other services are affected and women should continue to attend post-natal and ante-natal care and clinics at the centre.

Lindsey Velcic, who is 20 weeks pregnant, is also concerned as she says she knew nothing about the suspension before finding out on social media.

The mum said: “I’m more disappointed that I found out about this through Facebook, as I had only seen my midwife that morning at my 16-week appointment and nothing was mentioned.

“I still haven’t been contacted with regards to what happens now and it’s currently on my notes that that’s where I plan to give birth.

“So at the moment, I don’t know where I’m having this baby.”

Hampshire Hospitals has said the temporary suspension was communicated to women that are 37 weeks pregnant and over who have chosen the centre as their birth place option.

Hampshire Hospitals deputy head of midwifery and women’s health Fay Corder added: “The suspension of births is a temporary measure and an external review will be complete by the week commencing August 6, at which point we will consider the recommendations.

“In the meantime, we would be happy to meet with any women to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. Please contact our communications team on who can ensure our community matron gets in touch.”