A WOMAN in labour was turned away from the Royal Bolton Hospital’s maternity unit — only to give birth 40 minutes later in her mother’s living room with no medical staff there.
Zeenat Patel, speaking of the traumatic birth of her baby, Liyana, claims to have been refused a second labour check by a triage nurse over the phone.
Now the mum-of-two wants to know why she was refused the check-up when she was so far into labour.
The hospital has launched an investigation.
Miss Patel, aged 26, and her partner, Yaseen Lockhat, first went to the maternity unit at about 3.30pm on Thursday, July 3.
A triage nurse told Miss Patel was told she was not in “active” labour and advised the couple to go home until the contractions became more frequent.
Yet an hour after the couple left, Miss Patel found herself in constant pain and called the maternity triage nurse at 5.50pm — only to be told to wait at home.
Concerned their baby was just minutes away from being born, the couple set off for the hospital again by car.
Miss Patel, of St Helens Road, Daubhill, said: “My labour pains were getting a lot stronger and I just knew the baby was going to come soon.
“By the time I had explained this over the phone, got cut off and got back through again, we were outside the hospital doors.
“I was told that because I was talking between contractions I couldn’t be that close, but I was in pain all the time.
“They spoke to me like I was a child, like I didn’t know my own body. I’d given birth before and I knew what was happening, but they would not listen. We were left with no alternative but to go home.”
Yet when Mr Lockhat dropped Miss Patel off at her mother’s house in High Street, Daubhill, the pain worsened and she started to give birth.
“I was walking up and down the hall. I shut myself in the toilet and when I sat down I could feel the head,” added Miss Patel.
“All I could do was push. I kept thinking if they had checked me, I wouldn’t be giving birth in this situation. I stayed in the toilet because I didn’t want my three-year-old daughter, Jasmine, to see what was happening.
“Giving birth is meant to be a special experience, but this was just traumatic.”
When her mother, Hanifa, heard her daughter scream in the toilet and saw the baby’s head, she dialled 999.
Mrs Patel managed to help her daughter to the living room where she delivered the baby single-handedly at around 6.30pm with only the aid of an ambulance call-handler.
Mrs Patel, aged 54, said: “It all happened so quickly. It was very scary. I grabbed some towels and managed to lie her down in the living room. It was very difficult because I had to hold the phone and catch the baby as she was born.
“But as she came out she had the chord round her neck. I knew straight away to get it out the way. I was just so worried for my daughter.
“My mother was a midwife so I remembered some of the things she had told me. I thought about her a lot that day and how much I wanted her there. I was still very proud that I was able to do it — despite the shock.”
Paramedics arrived 25 minutes after baby Liyana Zoya Lockhat was born. They then took mum and baby to the maternity unit, where they were kept until Sunday, July 6. Liyana weighed 6lb 2oz and is now doing well.
Miss Patel, who works for Argos, added: “I was so grateful my mum was there. I don’t know what I would have done without her. All I want to know is how and why this was allowed to happen.
“Imagine if it had been someone who didn’t have her family around her. Thank goodness there were no complications with the birth.”
Sue Anderton, head of midwifery at the hospital, said: “A senior matron met with Zeenat and her family as soon as we heard of these concerns and I followed this up and went to meet them myself.
“Clearly they are very upset and we will look into what happened thoroughly and get back to them.”
The Bolton NHS Foundation Trust were unable to confirm whether a student midwife had handled Miss Patel’s second call.