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Three sets of parents whose babies were born at the side of the road say lives will be lost if nothing is done to turn back the tide of Tory NHS cuts.
In 2014, Stafford County Hospital’s maternity unit became midwife only – with all consultants moving to another hospital.
This means if there is any chance of complications, expectant mothers have to travel for at least an extra 35 minutes to give birth – longer with traffic.
Since the change, a number of babies have been born at the roadside, with one arriving at a bus stop, another on the hard shoulder of a busy motorway and a third outside a wildlife park.
Although these three tots were delivered healthy, their mums believe it is only a matter of time before tragedy strikes.
Lynda Thompson-McNaught, 31, was told she couldn’t give birth at SCH – three miles from her Stafford home – and would have to travel 18 miles to Stoke Royal University Hospital.
But, on the way, the ambulance had to pull over at the Trentham Monkey Forest wildlife attraction so daughter Cerys could be delivered.
The mum-of-two said: We went past the maternity unit right here in Stafford to drive all the way to Stoke. I was scared out of my wits.
It was only when I finally heard Cerys cry, that I could relax. Lynda’s partner Andy Cliff, 30, missed his daughter’s birth after driving separately to SRUH. He said: Jeremy Hunt is crippling the NHS with a lack of staff and lack of investment.
The Tory government are doing what they did with miners in the 1980s – demonising them so they can close hospitals just like they closed the coal mines.
Vital services have been slashed from SCH after it was taken over by the University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust.
The closure of the consultant-led maternity unit has left mums-to-be at the mercy of traffic on the M6 and A34. The journey can take an hour during morning and evening peaks.
Sarah Doughty, 37, gave birth to daughter Charlotte in a bus stop on the A34 last year.
Her husband was driving to SRUH when her waters broke. Sarah said: Charlotte wasn’t breathing to start with, but Neil and my sister managed to clear the mucus out of her mouth so she could breathe.
She had gone purple. If we could have gone to our local hospital, we wouldn’t have had to go through all that.
Cutting services nearly cost her life.
Sarah Carroll, 31, who gave birth to daughter Demi-Lee on the hard shoulder of the M6, said: I am quite angry because I would have made it quite safely to SCH.
There are going to be more born at the side of the road and there are going to be fatalities – that breaks my heart.
Karen Meadowcroft, of UHNMT, said: The number of births before arrival at Royal Stoke University Hospital is significantly below the national average.
News Source MirrorNews