AN EXPECTANT mum had to endure a 50-mile trip to give birth – after being turned away because there were no beds at Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Hayley Cotton, 24, of Huddersfield, had a difficult pregnancy and expected to give birth at Calderdale Royal Hospital in November.
But when she went into labour two months early she was rushed to the Halifax hospital.
When she arrived, Miss Cotton was told that there was not enough space for her and her baby and that she would have to be taken to York District Hospital – almost 50 miles away.
She then endured an agonising 55-minute motorway ride in the ambulance to get to the hospital.
Three days later, baby Daisy-Boo Faith Cotton-Cowie was born and placed on a special care unit, weighing just three pounds 13 ounces.
For two weeks Hayley and partner Gareth had to make the exhausting 100-mile round trip from their Lowerhouses home to see their daughter before a place was found for her in Halifax.
Miss Cotton, of Hall Cross Grove, said she is angry at hospital bosses for the unnecessary stress she was put through.
She said: “I am so shocked at the way this was handled.
“Somebody in the middle of labour should never have to go through this much stress.
“If they are going to move services from Huddersfield, they should at least make sure there are enough beds available in Halifax.”
Miss Cotton had gone through the heartbreak of seeing two previous babies stillborn and had a further seven early miscarriages.
She had her scans at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but was told by staff that because of her history her baby would have to be born in Halifax where high-risk maternity services were moved last year.
Miss Cotton was due to give birth on November 22, but on September 17 her waters broke and she was taken by ambulance to Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Miss Cotton said: “When I got to the hospital staff said they were going to see if they could find a bed for me and the baby.
“I never imagined that they would have no beds, but they told me that although they had a bed they had no space for the baby so I would have to be transferred to another hospital.
“I was told that this could be anywhere in the UK before finding out I was going to York.
“My partner and I were shell-shocked that there was nowhere closer, like Leeds or Bradford.
“I was then rushed down the motorway in an ambulance for 55 minutes which brought on my contractions.
“It was ridiculous. I was already anxious enough about the baby being okay, so being in the middle of labour and told I was being transferred out just added to the stress.
“In the end I had time before I gave birth, but some people would have had their baby halfway down the motorway.”
Staff at York were able to halt Miss Cotton’s contractions, but the baby’s heart rate was so high she was given an emergency Caesarian section.
Baby Daisy-Boo is now doing well in hospital but despite several attempts by staff to get her moved to Halifax, was only transferred there at the weekend.
Until then, her parents had to spend most days making the long journey to and from York.
Miss Cotton said this left her feeling exhausted and finding it difficult to bond with her newborn because of the little time she could spend with her.
She said: “She’s back at Halifax now, but that’s where she should have been born.
“We’ve been lucky that we’ve had a happy ending, but some people don’t get that.
“They should have kept the unit at Huddersfield. Every town should have its own hospital and services for everyone – I’m sure people wouldn’t mind paying more for a better NHS.
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust was asked to explain why Miss Cotton had to travel to York, and why no other hospital could be used.
A spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry Hayley is not happy with the service we provided and we would urge her to contact us so that we can look closely at the issues raised.”