Thurrock mum-to-be's 50 mile emergency dash to hospital - no maternity beds available locally

  Posted: 04.06.21 at 23:16 by The Editor

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AN angry dad – and soon to be granddad – has slammed health authorities for a lack of commitment to Thurrock after his daughter was forced to take a car journey of 50 miles after going into labour when there were no maternity beds nearer than Colchester.

The drama was played out this afternoon (Friday, 4 June) when the NHS worker’s daughter, who recently fight a battle against cancer, began to super pains – 48 hours before she was scheduled to deliver her baby.

Unfortunately, calls to Basildon Hospital, where the baby produced the shocking news that it had no available beds in the maternity unit. Nor were there any others available within the Mid and South Essex NHS trust, nor in neighbouring hospitals including Darent Valley across the Thames in north Kent.

And even if there had been – this afternoon’s traffic carnage in the west of the borough meant it was unlikely she would have been able to guarantee getting to hospital.

The angry dad, who was at work when the drama began, tells the story. He told Thurrock Nub News: “My daughter was due to give birth on Monday. She is a recovering patient who was treated a couple of years ago for lymphoma.

“The treatment could have implications during the pregnancy.

Safe arrival - the baby born in Colchester meant a happy conclusion to this story.

“Basildon Hospital is fully aware of her condition and history and when she started having pains today she contacted the hospital but was told there were no beds to accept her. Nor were any beds available at Darent Valley, which is the next nearest hospital.

“She was told the nearest hospital was Colchester. My other daughter, who has only just passed her test, had to drive her to Colchester as we were told there wasn’t even an ambulance available.

“I am so angry. My daughter, with a previously diagnosed medical condition, who should be on a significant watch list, has to travel by private car on the length of the A12, which we all know is not an easy road, on a Friday afternoon! What would have happened had she gone into labour en-route?”

"The authorities are playing fast and loose with our lives - and the lives of our children. Shame on them - and the system which puts ordinary people at the bottom of the heap when it comes to supporting them."

Fortunately, the dash to Colchester was completed without incident and on arrival it was decided to admit the mum to be to the maternity ward, where is it expected she will have her baby shortly.

A spokesperson for the the Mid and South Essex Trust has confirmed this evening, that during this afternoon, it had no beds available. “There would not have been a problem this evening, but at the time there were no beds available so the advice was to go to Colchester.

“It was not deemed a medical emergency so an ambulance was not offered,” said the spokesperson. He added that the Trust is preparing a formal statement in relation to the incident.

With news this evening that the labour is progressing, the mum-to-be’s dad told Nub News: “It is simply unacceptable that there wasn’t a hospital bed available for my daughter within 50 miles. I don’t blame the maternity wards, it’s not their fault, but the people running our NHS have forgotten what its purpose is.

“My daughter is an ‘at risk’ patient and it cannot be right that she has to travel by car, with a nervous driver, on a road that is frequently subject to delays and jams – and with a new and nervous driver.

“Hopefully, in this instance everything will turn out OK. We are hoping to get over to Colchester to support her but there are so many questions to answer.

“Thurrock is just being forgotten and left behind. We need our own hospital and services, the situation as it is is clearly not good enough and it is dangerous.”

There was a happy conclusion to the story with the arrival of a new baby in the early hours of today!

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