The Gazette has teamed up with hospital campaigners to stand up and fight for our maternity services in North Devon - will you join our #BarnstapleBaby campaign?

In four months’ time final plans will be revealed determining the future of North Devon’s maternity unit – and now is the time to fight for it.

The North Devon Gazette has teamed up with hospital campaigners to launch our #BarnstapleBaby campaign.

We’re calling on everyone born in North Devon District Hospital to stand up and be counted, and proudly display that you’re a #BarnstapleBaby.

Join our campaign

Gazette reporter Matt Smart supporting the #BarnstapleBaby campaign.Gazette reporter Matt Smart supporting the #BarnstapleBaby campaign.

It’s simple – to get involved just share a photo of yourself or your children on social media holding a sign saying: ‘I’m a #BarnstapleBaby’ with your date of birth.

Make sure you share it using the #BarnstapleBaby hashtag – and we’ll aim to share as many of them as possible too.

And even better, why not make it your Facebook profile picture too?

Gazette editor Andy Keeble said: “Both my boys were born in the excellent maternity unit at NDDH and I find it hard to imagine a situation where I’d have to drive my wife to Exeter to give birth.

“We don’t know what the future holds for our maternity unit – or other key hospital services – but the various NHS reviews are causing a great deal of concern in North Devon.

“It’s no good waiting until decisions are made – these are uncertain times and now is the time to make our feelings known.”

‘We can’t afford to lose’

Ian Williams, of the founder members of Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) said: “The SOHS group is delighted with the Gazette initiative to highlight the importance of the NDDH Maternity Unit.

“I am absolutely staggered at the number of people who, since the unit came under threat of closure, have come forward, with very personal stories .

“These stories relate to their own life and that of their child which were in jeopardy only to be saved by the skill, care and dedication of the doctors, midwives and nurses.

“We simply cannot afford to lose these skilled professionals.”

Let’s make them listen

As part of our campaign, we want to gather as much support as possible before the Wider Devon Sustainability and Transformation (STP) plan is published next year.

It’s time to stop and make healthcare bosses listen: we don’t want our maternity services moved to Exeter or Plymouth.

Gazette reporter Sarah Howells supporting the #BarnstapleBaby campaign.Gazette reporter Sarah Howells supporting the #BarnstapleBaby campaign.

So if you want to keep North Devon’s maternity services join our #BarnstapleBaby campaign and make your voice heard.

Want us to share your picture? Use the #BarnstapleBaby hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.