A BABY boy had to be delivered in the back of an ambulance after the controversial closure of a Northumberland maternity unit.
Marty James McCulloch was delivered in the vehicle as it pulled up in the car park of Alnwick Infirmary after mother Louise’s booking to have him at her local unit at Berwick was cancelled due to its closure.
Mrs McCulloch last night told The Journal how she is already looking forward to telling Marty about his memorable Halloween arrival in the world.
But both she and her aunt, a former midwife at Berwick who was in the ambulance with her, said what had happened to them proved the need for the town’s baby unit.
Mrs McCulloch, a 31-year-old kitchen assistant at Prior Park First School in Tweedmouth, was delighted when she and husband Ryan, also 31 and a greenkeeper at Goswick Golf Club, learned they were to have a third child earlier this year.
The couple, who already have sons Leo, seven, and Spencer, five, booked in April to give birth at the unit at Berwick Infirmary, but Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust announced at the end of July that the unit was to close temporarily from August 1. The trust cited a lack of births and safety incidents for the closure and argued that midwifes were not getting the opportunities to practise their birthing skills.
Mrs McCulloch booked to give birth at the Hillcrest Maternity Unit at Alnwick Infirmary but then arranged to instead be induced at Wansbeck General Hospital at Ashington as, having had two quick births, she feared she would not make it to Alnwick once her waters broke.
She had been booked in for November 1, but at around 11pm on October 30 she felt the baby was on its way.
The couple decided to drive to Wansbeck but phoned Mrs McCulloch’s aunt Evelyn Mavin, who had worked as a midwife at Berwick for 37 years, for advice. She urged them to call an ambulance and Mrs McCulloch and her aunt were rushed off with Mr McCulloch following behind.