Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn and Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West are both expected to speak at a protest against plans which threaten the neonatal unit at Whittington Hospital.

Whittington Babies, a charity that supports the neonatal unit at the hospital, has organised the event, which is due to take place at 2pm on Saturday (February 9).

Some maternity services at the Archway hospital are under threat after NHS North Central London Integrated System (NCLICS) said it was reducing the number of neonatal units it runs.

Currently, hospital bosses say they prefer an option which would see the unit at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead shut, but Whittington was listed as their second preference.

The move comes after a fall in the number of babies being born in the five north London boroughs covered by the ICS.

Whittington Babies has invited people born at the unit to attend Saturday’s event, originally planned for outside the hospital but subsequently moved to Lauderdale House in Highgate Hill.

Vice chair of the charity Viviane Albert said it would not make sense to shut the Whittington unit, as it takes babies from 27 weeks whereas the Royal Free’s unit only takes them from 34 weeks.

Ham & High: Viviane's seven-year-old son Freddie spent time at the Whittington as a newborn Viviane's seven-year-old son Freddie spent time at the Whittington as a newborn (Image: Viviane Albert)

The mum, whose seven-year-old son spent five weeks at the Whittington as a newborn, added: “There’s a big argument for the Whittington to be the preferred one that stays open.

“But we don’t just want to assume that good sense will prevail because you never know with these things."