AN NHS 111 health advisor has sent a kind message to the family of a newborn baby girl, who he helped to deliver over the telephone.

Calum Forbes had been working at the North West Ambulance Service's (NWAS) Bolton hub in Chorley New Road for less than two weeks when he took the call.

NWAS has recognised Mr Forbes' involvement during which he gave important advice and talked the family through the birthing process in real-time — a call which lasted just 12 minutes before the baby arrived.

Mr Forbes, aged 51, who recently moved from south west London to Bolton with his partner, said: "I wish this family all the very best and hope that their little daughter has a wonderful life." It was the patient's grandfather who dialled the 111 line last Wednesday, saying his granddaughter was in labour.

“I initially thought it was the very early stages because they had chosen to ring us and not 999 or a midwife", Mr Forbes said. "The man was so calm that it didn’t seem urgent at that point.

“But then I could hear all this screaming in the background. I realised it wasn't just labour pains; it was actually happening right then."

The patient's mother took over the call. Mr Forbes had already arranged for an ambulance crew to attend but they had not yet arrived at the home.

"I soon realised we were likely to have to do this without them", Mr Forbes said.

He asked the family to ensure the mother was comfortable, he asked them to fetch clean towels, and to keep checking for the baby's head to appear. He explained what would happen next, and tried to keep everyone calm.

"It was an incredibly quick birth", Mr Forbes said. "Before we knew it the baby was fully out and crying, it was a baby girl."

The ambulance crews had by this time arrived at the property, and took over from there.

Since then, Mr Forbes has been presented with a certificate and a branded stork pin badge, as part of a new initiative which rewards staff if they have assisted in the birth of a baby.

Since the scheme was launched one month ago, 23 members of staff have been presented with a badge for assisting in births across the North West.

Phil Goodman, 111 team manager, said: "These situations are very rare within the 111 service and Calum did an amazing job that he should be very proud of.

"Having listened to the call Calum can be heard calmly reassuring them with advice and instructions for 12 minutes until the baby is born. It was truly amazing in all respects, it’s mind blowing."