THE University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has confirmed that its consultant-led maternity services and special baby care unit at Furness General Hospital, will now not transfer to Lancaster's hospital after all.

In a statement - originally expected at lunchtime but released at 5pm - Sir David Henshaw, Interim Chair, said: “The Trust and the wider NHS have been working hard and have pulled together to assist with the staffing issues in the Special Care Baby Unit (SBCU) at Furness General Hospital (FGH).

“We are pleased to announce that as a result of this team effort, we have been able to secure additional experienced, qualified neonatal nurses in order to safely staff SCBU at FGH."

“Both SCBU and consultant led maternity services are running as before and women should attend as previously advised."

“On behalf of the Trust and its partners, I would like to sincerely thank the public, staff, and in particular, those women who were most affected by recent events.”

Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said in the statement: “The Trust Board, together with its NHS partners, will be constantly monitoring the situation and working on robust plans to ensure safe, sustainable staffing levels can be maintained. We will keep the public, governors, staff and stakeholders fully informed."

The services, which help mums expecting complex births and seriously ill babies, were due to temporarily transfer from Furness General Hospital to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary from 9am today.

But following a public outcry, an urgent meeting took place this morning between Trust board executives, GPs and NHS officials.

There had been a strong reaction from some expectant mums expecting complicated births, and those running a campaign to protect Barrow's maternity unit

Barrow MP John Woodcock - whose wife Mandy Telford is running the Save FGH Maternity Unit campaign, described the situation as 'shambolic,' in parliament today.

He said: "This is an appalling and potentially dangerous shambles that has greatly increased the anxiety of pregnant women in my constituency on top even of the worry they already felt at the news."