Labour Pains

Gail Jordan had arranged to give birth at her local hospital, two miles from her home. That makes sense, as she lives in Solihull, a suburb of Birmingham with a population of nearly 100,000. She’d even had her parentcraft classes there.

When she went into labour, she rang the hospital, as you do. She was told it would be fine to come in when her contractions got closer together. They did, as they do. She rang again to let the maternity ward know she was coming in. A woman told her not to bother.

Mrs Jordan said, “I explained I was having three contractions every ten minutes and she said, ‘Well what do you want me do to about it?’ ” Not words you want to hear when you are about to have baby.

“I asked if there was another hospital, they said Coventry may be able to help you. I asked do you have their number and directions, they said no you’re just going to have look them up in the Yellow Pages.” That’s service on the NHS. Yes, we’re you’re local hospital. Yes, you planned for months to have the baby here. Yes, we told you there was no problem a few hours ago. Yes, you’re gonna have this baby any minute, so I’d get dialing if I were you.

Coventry is 23 miles away. Perhaps there was no bed at Coventry, because her husband was finally able to arranged something at Warwick. Warwick is only 14 miles from Solihull, but it’s down narrower roads, so it takes at least as long to get there.

The good news is they got there in time.


2 Responses to Labour Pains

  1. Margi says:

    Yikes! The person answering the phone was an Edinburgh bus driver in their last job. Why’d she ring them anyway? Clearly a first baby. The only way to deal with the NHS is to pitch up in Casualty and threaten to give birth on the floor 🙂 If I was young again that’s what I’d do.

  2. Dave says:

    Ringing them is the usual protocol. I agree that once they had told her to go find another hospital, she should have showed up in Casualty.

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