A MATERNITY unit will close for four weeks to carry out essential maintenance work.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) will temporarily suspend birth services at Helme Chase Maternity Unit at Westmorland General Hospital, Kendal, to carry out essential maintenance work to the nearby theatres department.

The suspension will occur from 5pm on Friday, February 23.

Community midwife appointments and the home birth service are unaffected.

Sue Stansfield, director of midwifery at UHMBT, said: “We have made the decision to temporarily suspend birth services at Helme Chase in order to keep babies, families and our colleagues safe during some essential maintenance work that will be taking place in theatres.

“We understand how important it is for women to have the choice to give birth where they would like to, and we really appreciate their patience and understanding during this period whilst this essential work is carried out.

“Mums-to-be who had planned to give birth at Helme Chase are advised to contact their community midwife who will support them with any worries they may have and talk through the alternative birthing options available.”