Barnard Castle couple to lodge complaint against Darlington Memorial Hospital hospital after baby drama

The Northern Echo: PREMATURE ARRIVAL: Baby Alison Marshall in the neo-natal unit at James Cook University Hospital. PREMATURE ARRIVAL: Baby Alison Marshall in the neo-natal unit at James Cook University Hospital.

A COUPLE whose daughter arrived three months early are planning to lodge a complaint against the hospital which insisted the baby’s birth was not imminent.

Marie Spooner was just 25 weeks and three days into her pregnancy when she gave birth to Alison Isabel Marie Eleanor Marshall, weighing a tiny 1lb 12oz, hours after repeatedly being told she was not in labour.

Two days before giving birth, a specialist scan in Newcastle, due to complications in the pregnancy, showed low fluid levels around the unborn baby, indicating that Miss Spooner’s waters may have broken.

On Saturday, November 2, Miss Spooner, of Barnard Castle, County Durham - who also has a son, Karl, with partner Gary Marshall - realised she was experiencing labour pains and attended the maternity unit at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

She said: “They put me in a side room and left me.

“The first nurse, who put me in there, said all the doctors were busy but she was going to get another nurse to see me in five minutes. But 90 minutes later I had to call for them. I was horrified.

“Everyone kept telling me that I wasn’t in labour, even the consultant.

“I said to the nurse ‘I have got a five-year-old son at home, I know what contractions feel like’.

“The hospital was going to send me home but then a doctor decided to keep me in to find out what the pain was .

“I was given steroids to help the baby’s lungs because they weren’t developing as they should.”

Less than an hour later, she started to deliver the baby in a hospital bathroom.

She said: “I called for the midwife and said ‘I’ve got my hand on my baby’s head’. I just made it back to bed and Alison was born.”

The tiny infant was transferred to the neo-natal unit, at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where she remains.

Mr Marshall and Miss Spooner are so unhappy with their treatment at Darlington Memorial Hospital they are planning to lodge an official complaint with the hospital about their experience.

Miss Spooner said: “It was so frustrating.

“It was only because I’d had a baby before that I knew I was in labour.

“If I had been a first time mother, I wouldn’t have known what was going on.”

A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are very sorry to hear that Miss Spooner was unhappy with the care she received at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

"We would ask her to contact our patient experience team so that we can investigate her treatment further.”

Comments (8)

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9:24am Mon 13 Jan 14

Darkroom Devil says...

Our experience there wasn't a good one either sadly. Especially after having the MLU at Bishop to compare it against. Nearly losing your wife due to people not listening to you and a distinct lack of continuity of care isn't something we'd like a repeat of.

It also took them nearly two days to even attach a security tag to the baby.
Our experience there wasn't a good one either sadly. Especially after having the MLU at Bishop to compare it against. Nearly losing your wife due to people not listening to you and a distinct lack of continuity of care isn't something we'd like a repeat of. It also took them nearly two days to even attach a security tag to the baby. Darkroom Devil

12:33pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Lizzy 16 says...

This comes as no surprise, As when i took my daughter to this hospital after her waters had broken, the Midwife said they hadn't when i said they had, she said i should know i have been doing this job long enough!!! Needless to say her waters had broken and she had what they call a dry birth leaving my daughter and Grandson open to infection!!! And my Grandson then had to go into special care, I told her if she had any more she should refuse to go into that hospital.
This comes as no surprise, As when i took my daughter to this hospital after her waters had broken, the Midwife said they hadn't when i said they had, she said i should know i have been doing this job long enough!!! Needless to say her waters had broken and she had what they call a dry birth leaving my daughter and Grandson open to infection!!! And my Grandson then had to go into special care, I told her if she had any more she should refuse to go into that hospital. Lizzy 16

1:01pm Mon 13 Jan 14

SharnaScott says...

I had my first son at Darlington, i put in a complaint after the way they miss treat me and the way they neglected my son, amongst other stuff. My mother got abuse shouted at her from the nurse but only because she fed my son a bottle after i was out the room with a nurse so i couldn't do it myself.
Had so many problems with them so with my second son i refused to go back there and ended up in Durham.
I had my first son at Darlington, i put in a complaint after the way they miss treat me and the way they neglected my son, amongst other stuff. My mother got abuse shouted at her from the nurse but only because she fed my son a bottle after i was out the room with a nurse so i couldn't do it myself. Had so many problems with them so with my second son i refused to go back there and ended up in Durham. SharnaScott

3:14pm Mon 13 Jan 14

debs13 says...

I was also told by this hospital that my waters had not broke, then weeks later I gave birth to my second child 5 weeks early, she was not breathing and ended up in special care. My daughter was born with a terrible chest infection and it was only at this point the hospital said my waters must have been broken and led to infection getting in. I could have lost my baby and never got an apology! just made to feel like it was all my fault etc.
I was also told by this hospital that my waters had not broke, then weeks later I gave birth to my second child 5 weeks early, she was not breathing and ended up in special care. My daughter was born with a terrible chest infection and it was only at this point the hospital said my waters must have been broken and led to infection getting in. I could have lost my baby and never got an apology! just made to feel like it was all my fault etc. debs13

4:28pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Harrywotsits says...

Such a shame for this couple that they had such a poor experience. I had my baby at Darlington on the same day and actually heard the alarms go off which I presume must have been for this baby. I felt that the staff I came into contact with were incredible and couldn't do enough for us. I do know that labour ward was full to capacity that weekend and actually had to close to new admissions the next morning. I know that is no excuse for how this couple were treated but it just shows the harmful effect of budget cuts on the NHS by this government. Best of luck to them and hope they get to take their precious daughter home soon.
Such a shame for this couple that they had such a poor experience. I had my baby at Darlington on the same day and actually heard the alarms go off which I presume must have been for this baby. I felt that the staff I came into contact with were incredible and couldn't do enough for us. I do know that labour ward was full to capacity that weekend and actually had to close to new admissions the next morning. I know that is no excuse for how this couple were treated but it just shows the harmful effect of budget cuts on the NHS by this government. Best of luck to them and hope they get to take their precious daughter home soon. Harrywotsits

8:51pm Mon 13 Jan 14

SS says...

I've had both my children at Darlington Memorial and cannot fault the care I received. I feel sorry for the couple involved though and hope the little one pulls through.
I've had both my children at Darlington Memorial and cannot fault the care I received. I feel sorry for the couple involved though and hope the little one pulls through. SS

9:32am Tue 14 Jan 14

hasanopinion says...

although I was full term this story is not dissimilar to my own experience with my second child labour. I too was told I was not in labour and that my waters had not broken, even had staff trying to send me home and take paracetamol 50 minutes before I gave birth. thankfully I had listened to my own body and stayed put. However I was treated like I was overreacting and the midwives left me in the labour room and did not return until my told my husband to go and get someone. By this time my babies head was crowning to the absolute amazement of the midwives. It was not a pleasant experience for me as the labour was so quick my whole body was shaking uncontrollably, having given birth I was physically sick and was still having contractions three hours later. I felt really poorly. although I joke about it now 8 years on I cannot stress enough to new mums to always always trust your instincts. midwives although are trained very well to help us deliver our babies safely have never had two labours the same and are not experts on our own bodies or childbirth for that matter. luckily I am not a pushover I was not rail roaded into going home that day as I told the midwife at the time if I had done as they'd said my baby would have been born in the foot well of the car!
although I was full term this story is not dissimilar to my own experience with my second child labour. I too was told I was not in labour and that my waters had not broken, even had staff trying to send me home and take paracetamol 50 minutes before I gave birth. thankfully I had listened to my own body and stayed put. However I was treated like I was overreacting and the midwives left me in the labour room and did not return until my told my husband to go and get someone. By this time my babies head was crowning to the absolute amazement of the midwives. It was not a pleasant experience for me as the labour was so quick my whole body was shaking uncontrollably, having given birth I was physically sick and was still having contractions three hours later. I felt really poorly. although I joke about it now 8 years on I cannot stress enough to new mums to always always trust your instincts. midwives although are trained very well to help us deliver our babies safely have never had two labours the same and are not experts on our own bodies or childbirth for that matter. luckily I am not a pushover I was not rail roaded into going home that day as I told the midwife at the time if I had done as they'd said my baby would have been born in the foot well of the car! hasanopinion

10:51am Tue 14 Jan 14

Snubbles says...

SS wrote:
I've had both my children at Darlington Memorial and cannot fault the care I received. I feel sorry for the couple involved though and hope the little one pulls through.
Me too, the care given with of my children was brilliant.
[quote][p][bold]SS[/bold] wrote: I've had both my children at Darlington Memorial and cannot fault the care I received. I feel sorry for the couple involved though and hope the little one pulls through.[/p][/quote]Me too, the care given with of my children was brilliant. Snubbles

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