No home births policy at King’s Lynn hospital sparks legal challenge

Cathryn Remmington with her husband Mark and 3 year old son Logan.
Cathryn Remmington with her husband Mark and 3 year old son Logan.
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Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been accused of becoming a “baby factory” amid anger over the suspension of its home birth service.

Pregnant Cathryn Remmington also believes the hospital is hoodwinking mums-to-be by not telling them the service is no longer available.

She has been fighting a legal battle to get the service reinstated for the last eight weeks, but has been left so disgusted by her treatment and being told she couldn’t give birth at home that she has now transferred all her maternity care to Peterborough City Hospital.

Mrs Remmington, 32, who is 35 weeks pregnant, was desperate to give birth to her daughter at home after being denied the opportunity when she had her three-year-old son Logan in hospital in Essex.

She said: “When you’re in labour you’re naive and vulnerable, regardless of how many children you have.

“Pressure is put on you in hospital to have drugs and intervention you don’t want and they put the fear into you by saying ‘if you don’t have this, this will happen...’

“I was adamant I didn’t want my baby at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It’s like hospitals are just becoming baby factories, they get you in and out as soon as possible.”

Mrs Remmington only found out the home birth service had been suspended when she saw a consultant about her asthma when she was about 25 weeks pregnant.

She said: “I’d told my midwives I wanted a home birth from my very first appointment, and it was all over my pregnancy notes, but no-one ever told me.

“If I hadn’t of had the appointment with the consultant I wouldn’t have been told until I was in labour and it would have been too late.

“I think the hospital is telling midwives not to say anything.

“By the time people find out in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy, they’ve not got time to fight back, they’ve not got time to raise concerns and the hope is they just say ‘whatever’.”

After being told the news, Mrs Remmington, who lives with Logan and husband Mark in Upwell, teamed up with childbirth charity Birthrights and a public law solicitor to try and get the service reinstated.

But with her March due date fast approaching, she looked into other options available and is now due to give birth at a midwife-led unit at Peterborough City Hospital.

“Even if we’re successful, I didn’t think the service would be reinstated by the time I had to give birth,” she said.

“I’m still going to be part of the campaign and hopefully help other mums-to-be get the home birth they are entitled to.”

Mrs Remmington lives a few miles outside of the Peterborough hospital’s catchment area for home births, but the midwive-led unit offers a preferable second-choice.

She said: “I went and saw a senior midwife there and she agreed with everything I was saying about having a natural birth.

“I was also given a tour of the unit and it was the first time I felt like I’d been treated with any kind of respect.”