Not again! Woman gives birth in foyer at Romford hospital

�A woman gave birth in a public area of Queen’s Hospital in front of horrified onlookers after midwives sent her home an hour earlier – telling her she wasn’t ready to have her baby.

Mother-of-six Najma Abdalla, from Seven Kings, was propped on a table and seats near the first floor lifts when the baby slipped into the arms of Najma’s sister Fatima Abukar, 22, on Tuesday afternoon.

Around 15 people watched the drama unfurl, including one mum-to-be who was left “in tears” by the sight, said Fatima.


It comes just two weeks after hospital chief Averil Dongworth promised improvements at Queen’s maternity unit after watchdog Care Quality Commission reported mums and babies were at risk of “poor clinical care”.

“My sister couldn’t walk any further and laid down,” said Fatima, from Seven Kings.

“She kept pulling up her skirt and she was speaking in broken sentences because she was in so much pain.

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“I had my arms around her, trying to shield her from everyone. Then a woman looked under her skirt and said ‘I can see the baby’s head!’.”

Fatima was cradling the newborn boy whose placenta was still attached when a group of passing midwives finishing their shift took over, wrapping him in his mother’s headscarf and jumper.

Screens were also erected to give the family some privacy.

Fatima said: “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done and I’m angry that it happened. It was humiliating for my sister.”

Najma had arrived at A&E, in Rom Valley Way, at around 4am that day, but was ordered home just after 1pm because she was not in “established labour”, Queen’s said.

“This is Najma’s sixth child, so she knew it was on the way and told them so,” said Fatima “But they frightened her into leaving, telling her she could pick up an infection and it wasn’t a pleasant place to stay.”

The 30-year-old housewife was rushed back less than an hour later, but was unable to make it to the labour ward.

Najma said: “It was not good; I was very angry at the time, but the baby and I are fine now. I will be making a complaint to the hospital.

“I’d heard things about this hospital and I didn’t want to come here.”