FEATURE: My baby could have died - mother pens heartfelt letter in support of Pilgrim

Pilgrim Hospital.
Pilgrim Hospital.

A mother has penned a heart-felt letter praising Pilgrim Hospital claiming her daughter would ‘not have seen the light of day’ if there had been no obstetric service.

The mother, who did not wish to be named, sent the letter to Coun Christine Talbott - the chairman of the health scrutiny committe at Lincolnshire County Council and Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.

In a summary sent to the paper she says her daughter was born ‘very early and very suddenly’ at the 28 week stage.

She said the baby had not yet turned and required a cesarean section to be delivered immediately.

The mother said the labour team had to deliver the baby within 15 minutes with her under general anesthetic and described how ‘every second was accounted for’.

She said: “But I only had to be moved from one room to the next. Not waiting for an ambulance. Not transferring to the ambulance. Not travelling 60 minutes down the road.

“My daughter would not have even seen the light of day had there been no obstetric service at Pilgrim Hospital.”

The letter was sent in response to the suggestions in the LHAC review that there could be one consolidated inpatient women and children’s service at either Pilgrim or Lincoln.

The mother added: “She is alive and she is not disabled in any way. This is thanks to the level of service currently available at Pilgrim Hospital Boston. She would be dead if there had been anything less. If LHAC had already taken place and the single-site obstetric proposal been approved, she would be dead. She could not wait for a 60 minute transfer. She couldn’t even wait for a 30 minute transfer. She had to be delivered immediately”

Responding to the letter, Dr Suneil Kapadia, medical director at United Lincolnshire Hopsital’s Trust which runs Pilgrim, said that although he was not familiar with the case specifically, the trust was pleased mother and baby were well.

“Around 60 per cent of births are normal, that means mothers and babies don’t need any care or interventions from doctors, they just need the support of their midwives. This can be done safely at home or in midwifery-led unit,” he said.

“Pregnant women are routinely monitored throughout their pregnancy. When a woman develops complications or it is recognised that medical care may be likely at some point, the mother comes under the care of a specialist doctor, known as an obstetrician. Emergencies do happen, and in these cases especially for women who go into labour prematurely, they are told to call 999. The national target to carry out a category 1 emergency caesarean is 30 minutes. This target is achievable in the county of Lincolnshire by ambulance or air ambulance, even if there was only one specialist consultant led maternity unit.

“No decision has been made about the future of maternity units in Lincolnshire. While it may sound counter intuitive, an ambulance driving past the local hospital in an emergency is often the safest option. It’s not about how far you travel but about the quality of care a person gets when they get there.

“Take the Lincolnshire Heart centre for example, patients having heart attacks from all across the county are taken to Lincoln County, and Lincolnshire has some of the best survival rates in the country. We want the same fantastic services for women and children’s services too.”