Scottish woman told to wait for two days to have overdue baby

The NHS. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty
The NHS. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty
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A pregnant woman was left waiting by the phone for two days after staff shortages at her local maternity hospital meant she could not be admitted to deliver her overdue baby.

Shiobhan Love contacted Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, as instructed, to be induced.

She claims she was told there was a “backlog of mums” and was advised to call back on Monday.

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Mrs Love, who was 11 days overdue, was again told there was not enough room for her – and that staff would call back to arrange a time.

She has since accused NHS Grampian of playing “Russian roulette” with her family.

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Mrs Love, from Kinloss, had to travel to Aberdeen as the maternity unit at Dr Gray’s in Elgin, Moray, had been downgraded due to staff shortages.

She said: “I’m waiting at a phone, with everything on hold, praying that they phone me with a space that I still need to travel two hours to. How can this be acceptable in this day and age – and I can’t even go to the local hospital 20 minutes away and have my baby?”

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian apologised to Mrs Love and said: “We apologise for any distress caused to Mrs Love. Unfortunately, inductions may happen early in the morning or late in the evening, according to the availability of staff and a bed.”

The maternity unit at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin was recently downgraded, meaning all high and medium-risk pregnant women must travel to Aberdeen or Inverness.

In a furious post online that was shared by campaign group Keep Mum, Mrs Love said: “I explained on the phone I have a four-year-old that I need to sort childcare for and a husband that needs to know whether he is going into work or not, but none of this seems to change anything. I completely understand that they are struggling, but what happens to me? This is supposed to be one of the best times in our lives ... but it’s turning into a nightmare.”

It is understood Mrs Love has since been induced. But Keep Mum said her case highlighted the need for NHS Grampian to fully reopen the Dr Gray’s unit.

The decision to downgrade to a midwife-led service was due to a shortage of doctors.

The health board is waiting for Scottish Government feedback on its revised action plan to reinstate the service.

A Keep Mum spokeswoman said: “This kind of experience keeps happening to women from Moray..”