Parents' car park birth drama

THE proud parents of a baby boy born in their car outside the locked doors of a closed maternity unit have recalled the drama. Raz Mackgave birth to 8lb 8oz baby Bobby in a Renault Clio in the early hours of Wednesdayat the William Julien CourtauldHospital, Braintree with the help of her partner and a paramedic.

THE proud parents of a baby boy born in their car outside the locked doors of a closed maternity unit have recalled the drama.

Raz Mackgave birth to 8lb 8oz baby Bobby in a Renault Clio in the early hours of Wednesdayat the William Julien CourtauldHospital, Braintree with the help of her partner and a paramedic.

Ms Mack and Andy Harris drove to the hospital thinking it would be open for expectant mothers at all times but arrived to find it was empty.

They were unaware that the unit only opened between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, something that campaigners wish to see changed with the return of a 24-hour service.


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The couple telephoned and was told a midwife was on the way, but fearing the baby was just minutes away, Mr Harris called 999 and a paramedic was sent. Ms Mack later gave birth to Bobby in the back of the car without any complications.

Mr Harris said: "We rung the bell at the hospital and when no one answered it we panicked. It was a shock as you presume it would be like a normal hospital with pregnant women inside giving birth at all hours.

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"I phoned them up and they said a mid wife was on the way, but Raz's waters broke, so I called 999 and the paramedic came.

"It was his first time and he did really well - I was in the car holding her hand, he did all the work."

Ms Mack said baby Bobby was doing really well unaware of the attention on the way he came into the world.

The unit only deals with low risk deliveries, with all other mothers being sent to St John's Hospital in Chelmsford.

Campaigners calling for the maternity unit to open at all times said it was lucky there had not been any complications.

Ann Fuller, who helped gather a 1,500-signature petition, said: "Luckily mother and baby are ok but something tragic could have happened and this shows why we are fighting for this.

"Unfortunately we are not hearing a lot back from the care trust and I want to know if what has happened will change their policy."

Marion Williams, chairman of Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care Trust which commissions maternity services from the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, said: "We are very concerned that this incident occurred and would like to profusely apologise to the lady in question.

"We are aware of the anxiety among local people at the level of maternity services in the area and we are working with a local support group, whose aim is to reinstate William Julian Courtauld as a 24-hour maternity unit, to resolve the issue."

A spokesman for Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust said: "We are happy that both mother and baby are doing well and send our best wishes to the family.

"We are equally concerned and are conducting a joint investigation with the Witham Braintree and Halstead Care Trust into the incident to learn any lessons and ensure there is no repeat."

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