Health bosses have been warned they have a fight on their hands over proposed closures of three midwife-led units.

The units in Oswestry, Ludlow and Bridgnorth are likely to close permanently to births and offer only pre and ante-natal care.

But campaigners have warned: “This fight isn’t over.”

The units have been closed for two years pending the outcome of a public consultation which is due to take place later this year.

But campaigners say they are tired of being held in “contempt” by health bosses and have vowed to fight the decision.

Gill George, chairman of Shropshire Defend Our NHS, said: “What comes across so clearly is the contempt for rural women. 

“The Midwife-Led Units have been closed since mid-2017 now, with no consultation at all. 

“That’s more than two years of lives put at risk; more than two years of rural women and rural communities being ignored. 

“And the CCG bosses stick their fingers in their ears and sing ‘la la la’ as loudly as they can.

“They should understand this fight isn’t over. 

“NHS England needs to stop being taken in by CCG spin and look at the detail – and instruct the CCG to get these services re-opened. 

“And when it does come to consultation, the message from women in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry will be unchanged: ‘We need our MLUs’.”

Under the plans, women will be able to give birth at either the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital or at home.

Women will continue to be able to access certain services such as scans and tests at the rural units.

Health bosses are also proposing a number of maternity hubs which will offer support for women before and after birth.

Kate Manning, from the transforming midwifery care programme at Shropshire CCG, said: “We are hoping that the consultation is going to be going out later this year. We don’t have a date yet.

“It’s still subject to change as it has to go through the assurance process with NHS England.

“We don’t know if it’s going to be the final thing going forward.”