Mum's baby 'bed-blocking' anger

A MOTHER has called for more Government funding for premature baby services after her young son ended up “bed-blocking” in an intensive care unit.

James Hore

A MOTHER has called for more Government funding for premature baby services after her young son ended up “bed-blocking” in an intensive care unit.

When Alison Clubb's , son, Max was born by Caesarean section 12 weeks early he weighed just over two pounds and had to be resuscitated.

Although the Chelmsford boy pulled through the initial scare, a blood clot in his right arm after five days led doctors to warn it could have to be amputated from the elbow.


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Further complications led to a stay in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge before he was transferred back to St John's Hospital in Chelmsford.

A massive infection and hernias meant he had to be rushed back to intensive care in Cambridge for surgery with doctors warning it was touch and go whether he would survive.

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But after battling back to health after a “terrifying” three weeks, the family was told there was not enough room to move back to the special care unit in Chelmsford - meaning little Max was bed-blocking the intensive unit at Addenbrooke's.

Speaking yesterday Mrs Clubb praised the “terrific” work of the NHS staff but said hospitals needed more facilities for premature babies so families could be cared for locally.

The 35-year-old midwife said she knew of another mother who had been forced to travel from in Essex to Glasgow to get her baby into an intensive care cot.

“What happened with Max was really frustrating for Addenbrooke's because he was blocking the intensive care unit because St John's did not have any special care cots for him to go back to when he was getting better.

“After a few days they agreed to take him back to St John's and he was there for two more weeks before coming home,” she said.

“I think everything, in the end, boils down to funding - the ideas in the new Government policy are brilliant, but unless there is funding, none of it will work and it will be another great document that sounds wonderful.”

Mrs Clubb added that the extra stress of being transferred and staying alone in hotels had been difficult to cope with.

“It was hard for me because I was there on my own but in some ways I was lucky because I could stay in a hotel room whereas Ian had to go back for work, so was completely out of it - and he felt very frustrated and guilty for not being there,” she said.

Mrs Clubb was diagnosed with the life-threatening HELPP syndrome during pregnancy and because she was in danger of having to give birth before 28 weeks she was admitted a Kent hospital because other Essex hospitals are not geared up to deliver babies before that date.

When she reached 28 weeks, she was then transferred back to Princess Alexandra, Harlow, where she works, to give birth.

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