Baby born in a waiting room at Romford hospital

12:18 25 February 2011

Frances Randall gave birth to son Freddy in a waiting room in Queen

Frances Randall gave birth to son Freddy in a waiting room in Queen's


A YOUNG mother had to deliver her baby on a chair with her feet propped on a suitcase and without medical help, in a waiting room at Queen’s Hospital because of a shortage of beds and staff.

Frances Randall, 21, delivered Frederick with just the help of another patient’s mother.

Because there was no one to catch the child, he fell to the floor and banged his head.

There were no beds available and Frances and her partner Scott Jordan-Freeman, from Rosedale Road, Collier Row, say they didn’t see a nurse or a midwife until after the baby was born.

The incident sparked renewed fears this week that Queen’s maternity unit will not be able to cope if the planned closure of King George Hospital’s maternity unit in Goodmayes goes ahead.

Frances said: “It was a terrible experience but I was just really worried if the baby was going to be alright.

“My partner, Scott, was there and the whole experience has made him very nervous and he still gets flashbacks about it.”

Frances’ waters broke in the waiting room of the hospital, just a few hours after she and her partner, Scott Jordan-Freeman, 20, went into the room.

As the baby’s head started to appear, Frances was forced to give birth sitting in a chair with her feet propped up on a suitcase.

Scott ran to get a midwife but when he came back in alone, he saw baby Frederick’s head hit the floor with the umbilical cord rapped around his neck.

Kiran Deep Virdee, 52, of Manor Park, whose daughter was in labour at the hospital, was also in the waiting room.

She saw the drama unfold and helped to deliver the baby.

Kiran said: “It is digusting that in this country she had to give birth on a chair, she was given no dignity, it is lucky that there was no one else around or she would have had no privacy at all.

“It’s not a nice room and she was just shouting and her partner was running for help but nobody came.”

The couple say that it was only after the baby had been born that a midwife and other nurses rushed into the room.

The baby’s cord was cut in the waiting room, before they were finally admitted to a maternity room.

Scott said: “It was just really bad, I told them her waters had broken but they didn’t want to know and just kept saying that we needed to stay in the waiting room.”

The couple had arrived at the hospital at 3.30am after Frances was having severe pains, but they were taken to the waiting room because they were told that there were not enough midwives and no beds available.

As the pains intensified, Scott tried to get help, but was told that there were no midwives and no room prepared.

Frederick was born weighing 6lbs and the couple claim that he was left with a bump on his head from where his head hit the floor.

Frances said: “The doctors said that the knock on his head did not affect him, but since then I have taken him to the hospital so many times.

“He seems fine now there is nothing to say how things are going to be in the future.”

Kiran said: “I am happy that I was there to help Frances because at the time, she was screaming and in pain and there was no one there that seemed to care, she was just helpless.

“When the baby came out and I saw the bump on his head I was really worried, but he cried and I just thank God tha he is OK.”

The incident happened in the same week that Barking and Dagenham MP Margaret Hodge and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes made an unannounced visit to the hospital to ask staff about problems at the hospital and the plans to close A&E and maternity unit at King George.

Mrs Hodge said: “We believe that the decision to close the A&E department at King George will have knock-on affects at the other local hospitals but we believe that the implications particularly on Queen’s will be disastrous.”

Mr Cruddas said: “Someone has got to get to the bottom of the problems at the hospital and the Government have got to act to stop more and more cases like this happening.”

Head of Midwifery Sue Lovell apologised to Miss Randall and said she would be happy to meet her.

She said: “We are aware that there were problems with our maternity triage area, so a new triage system is now being put in place.”

“When labouring women arrive at Queen’s they will be seen immediately by a midwife, and moved straight to the most appropriate area – whether that be the labour ward or ante-natal.

“This will eliminate the need for women to stay in waiting areas.”


  • I had a very similar experience when I was in labour at Queens in October 2010. I was waiting for 6 hours after my waters had broken and the midwife in triage had said i was having false labour pains when they were full blown real contractions. My husband then complained and she said for us to find someone else. Luckily there was the sister incahrge of the post natal ward who gave me a bed and confirmed i was having full blown contractions. However I was in post natal for 7 hours until they had a bed in labour ward. I was told to keep it down as I could not scream in pain as other mums were sleeping. The most humiliating disgusting experience for me was screaming in pain for 6 hours with an audience in the waiting room. These nurses have been clearly trained to lie when you get to triage as they have no beds available at all. I advise anyone to never give birth at this hospital! legally you can request the hospital you want to have your baby at. Just dont have it at Queens. It has put me off having children. I have been so traumatised by the experience it was my first experience and it was destroyed by the inhuman way i was treated. My daughter was 10 lbs and the doctors neglected this which caused third degree tears and being in theatre for three hours. She was a forcep delivery. my baby was left with my husband in the delivery room with all the blood and mess for 3 hours. The midwives ignored my sisters requests for it all to be cleaned. I then found out my daughter had low blood sugar levels as they wanted me to breastfeed her. However the forcep damage had prevented her from latching. I am still undergoing physio as i have lost control of my bowels due to the third degree tears. Doctors have now questioned why I was not given a c section. One answer no beds available in theatre. The hospital is a complete joke!

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    Monday, February 28, 2011

  • It's horrible to think what this poor mum went through and puts me off wanting to have my own children in the future born at that hospital. If they close King George's how do the government and council expect Queen's to deal with more mothers if they are already struggling to cope. It's shameful how this country is failing on so many levels.

    Report this comment


    Friday, February 25, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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