A MUM who stood up at a public meeting and said her baby would have died without consultant-led maternity services in Whitehaven is today urging health bosses to do the right thing.

Andrea Murray, of Workington, has been among those fiercely campaigning to save the obstetrics unit at the West Cumberland Hospital - fearing for the lives of mums and babies.

Today, following a 12-month review, a key decision will be made about its future.

NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)’s governing body will consider an independent report, before deciding whether to retain consultant-led maternity long term.

Mrs Murray was among those at the initial public consultation meeting, when the community sent a strong message to the Government’s Success Regime that the obstetrics unit must not be allowed to close.

If it did, they feared mums and babies would not survive the 40-mile journey to Carlisle.

At the time, Mrs Murray had only recently given birth to her son Benjamin at the West Cumberland Hospital.

She and husband Andrew stood up with their newborn baby at the meeting and made an emotional plea to decision makers.

Today, with Benjamin now almost three, she is reiterating that personal appeal.

In her case, what initially seemed to be a straightforward birth suddenly hit complications - forcing doctors to perform an emergency caesarean section.

It was so quick she had to have a general anaesthetic because, due to her baby being in distress, they could not afford to wait the 15 or so minutes it would take for a spinal injection to take effect.

Had there not been a consultant on site, she is convinced Benjamin would not be here today.

“I’m anxious about today’s decision. I really hope they will do the right thing,” she said.

“Benjamin is nearly three but nothing has changed about how I feel. I still very strongly that we need consultants in Whitehaven. The distances are just too far.”

“Recruitment was one issue but that has apparently been getting better. I just hope they make the right decision.

“It’s so incredibly important for west Cumbria.

She said the thought of being sent in an ambulance, while her baby was in distress, all the way to Carlisle fills her with dread.

“Our story is not unique. We have heard of lots of others who have had similar situations.

“This is about mums and babies lives. We need consultants here in west Cumbria. Anything else would be crazy,” she added.

The CCG governing body is holding a special meeting today at Cleator Moor Civic Hall, at 1pm, to consider the report.