Petition over Salford Royal's maternity unit closure

About 37,000 people have signed a petition against the proposed closure of the maternity unit at Salford Royal Hospital.

The unit is due to close next year as part of a large shake-up of maternity services across Greater Manchester.

Campaigners, who say women should not be forced to travel outside Salford to give birth, are handing in the petition to Downing Street on Thursday.

Salford NHS Trust has previously said GPs were reviewing the decision.

The re-organisation of maternity care across Greater Manchester was approved in August 2007 by the previous Labour government.

Bury 'on hold'

Under the shake-up, maternity units in Rochdale, Salford, Trafford and Bury were to close to concentrate consultant-led maternity care at eight hospital sites across the region.

Services have already closed at Trafford and units at Salford, Bury and Rochdale were due to follow suit by 2012.

But in June Health Secretary Andrew Lansley put on hold the closure of Fairfield Hospital maternity unit in Bury.

Salford Royal NHS Trust has previously said it expected services to be transferred next year.

However, it also said GPs were reviewing the decision and are due to report back in October.

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