Cash-strapped health trust agrees to foot car clean bill

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An Eastbourne mum who gave birth in the back of her car while her husband raced to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings has billed hospital boses for the cost of getting the car cleaned.

As it emerged that East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has run out of money and faces a whopping £19.4 million deficit this year Kirsty Peyton-Lander said it had agreed to cover the £85 cost of getting the interior of the BMW 1 Series cleaned and sanitised.

The family, from the Sovereign Harbour, were left in a race against time after Mrs Peyton-Lander began having contractions on the morning of May 10, just three days after the changes came into effect which saw the DGH become a stand alone midwifery-led maternity unit.

The 31-year-old’s spouse Leigh Lander called the Conquest Hospital - where she was planning to give birth because of having complications in her pregnancy - when they were eight minutes apart.

The couple, who have a six-year-old daughter Lexie Peyton-Lander, were told to make their way over to the hospital when they were five minutes apart.

The gap between contractions soon became quicker and he called the hospital back.

When he was able to get through shortly before they left at 7am the contractions were four minutes apart.

On the journey Mr Lander was able to flag down an ambulance and they were able to help deliver her baby Archie at 7.44am in the back of the car at Queensways, Hastings.

Following the ordeal Mr Lander said he thought the changes to maternity services at the DGH were unsafe, while his wife said she was angry with the situation and that it was a traumatic experience, adding, “No-one should have to go through what I went through.”

Since the incident the family has billed the trust for £85.

Mrs Peyton-Lander said, “Given the fact it certainly wasn’t our choice to go to Hastings and that because of the decision to downgrade the unit at the DGH I ended-up giving birth in the car, covering the cost of cleaning the car was the very least they could do.”

A spokesperson for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said, “The Trust made the offer to pay for the cleaning of Mrs Peyton-Lander’s car on the day she gave birth.

“We received the bill late last week and will send the payment when it has been processed.”