First-time mum sent to Wallingford – and backs Horton

A mum who wanted to have her baby at the Horton found herself being sent to a midwife-led unit in Wallingford because the John Radcliffe birth centre was full.

Laura Davies, who lived in Valley Road, Banbury before moving to Thame, said she feels the JR cannot cope with all Banbury’s births after her experience in June.

Baby Leighton was Ms Davies’ first baby and as such would not have been allowed to deliver at the midwife-led unit that has replaced the Horton’s consultant-led ward.

“The day my contractions started I rang the assessment unit at the JR,” she said.

“I had no idea what to expect as it was my first baby. On the third phone call about 4pm a member of staff said they were really busy and under-staffed – and their Spires midwife unit was closed.

“They told me they would ‘do their best’ if I came in which doesn’t put you at ease when you’re having your first baby.

“They gave us two options, we could either go to Wallingford which is midwife-led or Wantage which was over an hour away.

“So my partner and I decided to ring Wallingford. As soon as we rang and spoke to them we felt so reassured. They sounded so nice and helpful.”

During her labour Ms Davies was told the unit in Wallingford was being sent two more mums by the JR because the general maternity ward had by now been closed.

“They were only taking emergency cases at the JR but if they couldn’t handle the cases they had there already how would they cope with the extra emergency cases?” she said.

“I know the staff can’t help it and they all try their best but it’s not fair on them. What I’m trying to say is we desperately need the Horton services back.”

The Banbury Guardian has approached OUHT for a comment.