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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Woman in labour turned away twice
Elizabeth and Anthony Jones with baby Emily (pic: Glamorgan Gazette)
Paramedics allowed Anthony Jones to deliver his daughter
Health officials have apologised to a woman who was twice turned away from a hospital while in labour, leaving her partner to deliver their baby at home.

Elizabeth Jones, 24, was told there were not enough beds or doctors at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.

Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust said the unit had to close to new admissions for a "short period" because it was full.

Baby Emily's arrived at her Bridgend home an hour after the second visit, with two paramedics in attendance.

Ms Jones first went to the maternity unit with her partner Anthony Jones just after 7am on Thursday, 11 October, when her contractions began.

But she was told to come back later as there were no doctors or beds available.

She returned four hours later, and was examined by a midwife, who told her nothing would happen and to come back after 5pm.

I am very unhappy about how I was treated - thankfully, the birth was straightforward
Elizabeth Jones

Ms Jones, who also has a two-year-old daughter with Mr Jones, told the Glamorgan Gazette that she was given two paracetamols and sent home.

"Other women in labour were also being turned away and told to sit downstairs in the coffee shop," she said.

"I don't think it's right to expect women who are in a lot of pain to go and sit in a public place."

But when the couple returned home for the second time, her waters broke.

Mr Jones, 39, said his partner could feel the baby coming so his daughter Kirstie rang an ambulance and relayed instructions to him about delivering the baby.

Just before the baby was about to be born, two paramedics arrived at the house.

"They let me deliver her although they were watching closely. They also let me cut the cord," said Mr Jones.

"Elizabeth was in agony."

Emily weighed 6lb 8oz and was born about an hour after the couple returned home from their second visit to the maternity unit.

Two midwives went to the house after the birth and checked Emily and Ms Jones.

It was necessary for this unit to close recently for a short time to new maternity admissions due to the unit reaching full capacity
Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust spokesman

Ms Jones told the Glamorgan Gazette: "I had no pain relief and it was agonising.

"I am very unhappy about how I was treated - thankfully, the birth was straightforward.

"It is not good enough. What if it happens to other parents?

"They should have another ward."

A spokesman for Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust said senior midwives had met Ms Jones to "apologise for the fact it was necessary to send her home".

"It was necessary for this unit to close recently for a short time to new maternity admissions due to the unit reaching full capacity," he said.

"At such times, if a woman arrives at hospital suspected of being in the early stages of labour, midwives conduct an assessment and agree a plan of care.

"This might mean women returning home for a time with arrangements in place for contact to be made with the hospital once their labour is more established, or, if labour is advancing, arrangements might need to be made for a community midwife to see the woman at home and/or for admission at another unit."



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