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Cot crisis sends mums hundreds miles to give birth


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
DOZENS of women due to give birth to seriously premature babies are being sent hundreds of miles around Britain each week because of an NHS crisis over intensive care cots.

The problem has seen women from Hemel Hempstead sent to Great Yarmouth and Nottingham, and a woman from London sent to Brighton. Another was flown from Plymouth to Manchester by the RAF. It follows a £70m government initiative to provide better care for premature babies which experts say has failed.

Under the scheme, the number of centres caring for fragile babies has been reduced. The aim was to centralise the best experts and equipment, but critics say its main effect has been to cut the number of beds.

Research by Bliss, the premature baby charity, found that in the West Midlands and London more than 30 mothers a month were being sent around the country in a search for cots.

Rob Williams, chief executive of Bliss, said more than 100 women nationwide faced the same problem every week.