A woman was forced to give birth more than 100 miles from where she lived because of a lack of suitable cots for premature babies, it was revealed today.
Natalie Page, 20, was transferred from hospital in her home town of Leicester to Birmingham, but then from Birmingham to Liverpool where she gave birth prematurely to a daughter on Sunday.
Today the hospitals involved apologised to Miss Page for the situation which has left her in Liverpool while the rest of her family are in Leicester.
David Yeomanson, from Leicester's Hospitals, said: "We are sorry Miss Page had to be transferred via ambulance to Birmingham to deliver her baby, but it was important that she was in the best place to receive the best care for her very premature baby.
"The decision to transfer her was made by her consultant as she was about to deliver her baby 11 weeks prematurely due to a pregnancy-related complication.
"Unfortunately, we did not have a suitable cot available in our neonatal unit to take her very poorly baby.
"We transferred her to Birmingham where they had the specialist neonatal facility for her new baby."
He said they did not have to do it very often, but are part of a neonatal network and transfer babies to a centre able to deliver the level of care and expertise needed for a premature baby.
He added: "Whilst this is unfortunate it is not a unique event and all Maternity Units would take the same action in these circumstances."
A spokeswoman for Birmingham Women's Hospital said: "We are very sorry that Natalie Page was unable to give birth in our hospital last week."
She said when the decision was first made to transfer Natalie to Birmingham there was an appropriate bed available, but that situation had changed by the time her baby needed to be born.
The spokeswoman said: "Natalie had been transferred to us from Leicestershire as there was no neonatal intensive care cot in the East Midlands.
"When a decision was made that her baby needed to be born we did not have a spare neonatal intensive care cot and she was therefore transferred to the hospital with the nearest neonatal intensive care cot which was Liverpool."
Ms Page told the Leicester Mercury she was frustrated by the situation, which had kept her apart from her partner and their son.
She said: "It's hard being away from my baby boy and Wayne. I just don't understand why I had to have my baby in Liverpool. It's so far away.
"I'm happy that the baby is healthy, and that's the main thing, but it's so frustrating not having my family nearby."Reuse content