THE parents of one of the last babies to be born at an East Lancashire hospital have paid tribute to maternity staff.

Hayley Miller, 36, from Rawtenstall, gave birth to a 5lb 6oz baby boy at Bury’s Fairfield Hospital at the weekend.

The yet-to-be-named infant will make history as one of the final deliveries at Fairfield, with the maternity unit and children’s wards set to be relocated to the Royal Bolton and North Manchester General hospitals from Friday.

Her partner Matthew Turner, 32, said: “It has been great for us logisitically as Hayley’s from Rossendale and I’m from Manchester. The staff at Fairfield have been perfect.”

Dozens of babies each year in the valley, particularly from Bacup, Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom and Whitworth, have either been born at Fairfield or Rochdale Infirmary.

But first the Rochdale maternity unit was closed, under the Making It Better programme, and now Fairfield is set to follow suit.

Pregnant women will still be able to access other services at Fairfield, including ante-natal clinics and scans, and a new ante-natal day unit has opened to limit the need for most women to travel to other hospitals for appointments.

Routine maternity care before and after the birth will also be provided in Bury, with community midwives visiting women in their homes, GP practices, health centres and children’s centres.

Children’s services are also changing with overnight wards closing. But the accident and emergency department will still be open to paediatric cases.

An observation and assessment unit will also be running throughout the day, supported by specialists and outpatients clinics for youngsters will continue.