Murwillumbah mother Donna Bodley with baby Jack, who was born in the ambulance bay of the Murwillumbah District Hospital on Saturday.
Murwillumbah mother Donna Bodley with baby Jack, who was born in the ambulance bay of the Murwillumbah District Hospital on Saturday. Blainey Woodham

Probe into ambulance bay delivery

AN INVESTIGATION will be held into why a pregnant Murwillumbah woman was forced to deliver her baby in a hospital ambulance bay.

The North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) will look into why mother of seven Donna Bodley had to give birth outside the emergency room at Murwillumbah District Hospital after being turned away from the maternity ward on Saturday due to a controversial policy.

Earlier this year the North Coast Area Health Service made a decision to send all high-risk pregnancy cases from Murwillumbah to Tweed Hospital in Tweed Heads.

A NCAHS spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the investigation.

“NCAHS is conducting a review into Donna Bodley’s specific case to see what lessons can be learned in regard to the protocols and the implementation of the protocols,” the spokeswoman said.

Ms Bodley turned up to Murwillumbah hospital in labour on Saturday afternoon after being turned away from Tweed Hospital earlier in the day.

An ambulance was organised to take Ms Bodley from Murwillumbah to Tweed Heads, despite being seven centimetres dilated with contractions three minutes apart.

Ms Bodley said the ambulance took a speed bump shortly after leaving the hospital which caused her water to break.

There was only enough time for the ambulance to arrive back at the hospital.

She gave birth to son Jack in the ambulance bay without any complications but with an emergency room full of people watching on.

Ms Bodley yesterday said she hopes some good can come out of her ordeal.

“Hopefully this puts the hospital a step closer to getting back full maternity services,” Ms Bodley said.

A nurse manager from the Tweed/Byron network visited Ms Bodley on Tuesday.

“She came over and apologised for the incident and told me why the high-risk pregnancy policy had been introduced,” Ms Bodley told the Tweed Daily News.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone else since then.”

Murwillumbah Hospital Support Committee chairman Ian Ross said it was unlikely NCAHS would hold a full-scale review of the unpopular pregnancy policy.

“They won’t do that, it has taken them (NCAHS) two years to get to this stage they are at now,” Mr Ross said.

Meanwhile, a new internet protest group against the Health Service has formed on social networking website Facebook.

Titled Bring Back Murwillumbah Maternity Ward You Idiots, it has more than 200 members since it began on Wednesday, following the story of Ms Bodley’s ordeal.

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High-risk birth in ambulance bay



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