Supporters of a high-risk pregnancy unit have been celebrating after being told it is safe from reorganisation this year.

The Silver Star unit cares for seriously ill expectant mothers and their unborn babies at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

In summer 2009, the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust decided to close level six of the hospital, which is home to the unit, and shift services to level five because of a shortage of midwives.

Last year, the trust abandoned plans to do the same again after outraged supporters of the unit launched a campaign claiming the reshuffle had left the service in mayhem.

The trust said maternity staff had gone the extra mile by volunteering extra time and shifts to make sure the unit remained open.

Parents and campaigners, including Oscar-nominated writer Armando Iannucci, whose three children were born at the unit, have since been holding fundraising and awareness campaigns, in a bid to keep it in the spotlight.

Recently staff at Sainsbury’s at Heyford Hill, who include Silver Star mums, raised £2,200 for the unit.

Last night, the trust confirmed it had no plans to reorganise the service this year.

Mr Iannucci, who directed the political satire In the Loop, is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity which has raised more than £100,000 for special facilities on level six, including two dedicated family rooms.

Nuala Webb is the former treasurer of the Silver Star Society. She said: “Hundreds of supporters gathered to do a sponsored Stroll in the Park in Oxford University Parks in May to celebrate 40 years of the unit, which has looked after more than 15,000 mums and about 20,000 babies during the past 40 years – and saved countless lives.

“Supporters have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past 20 years for equipment, patient family rooms, and to fund research and research midwives.

This is a real success for the Silver Star Society, which has campaigned with the help of the Oxford Mail to keep the service intact and avert the threat of closure.”

Nikki Gilbey, 29, of Bicester, who gave birth to daughter Lilly Mae 16 weeks ago at Silver Star unit and whose daughters Molly, seven, and Jorja, two, were also born there, said she was relieved it would stay open.

She said: “I had a stillbirth 11 years ago and now need specialist care. Now again thanks to the Silver Star, I have a happy healthy little girl.

“It’s such a relief to know it’s safe for another year.”

The news comes after the Oxford Mail revealed another ward dedicated to caring for seriously ill teenagers at the hospital has closed because of a lack of nurses.

Melanie’s Ward at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, which is a dedicated 12-bed adolescent unit, will be shut until September. The trust denied the move was a cost-cutting measure, and was instead down to “maternity leave, staff vacancies and a natural seasonal decrease in patients”.