A Polish woman has had her newborn baby repossessed by midwives at an Essex hospital after she forgot to take her passport and a utility bill to the birth.
According to 25-year-old Magda Sklep from Westcliff On Sea, she was rushed to Prittlewell Maternity Hospital last Saturday to give birth, and shortly after her partner Dave cut the umbilical cord a senior NHS administrator asked to see two proofs of ID to confirm that she was entitled to free NHS maternity care.
Ms Sklep added: ‘When I said that I left home in a rush due to the agonising labour pains, the member of staff returned with two bailiffs and put Jeremiah into a small container with holes in the lid.’
’They issued me a receipt stating ‘one baby, male, 6 pounds 11 ounces,’ and then told me that my son would be available for collection from their main offices between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday upon production of two proofs of British citizenship and residency.’
’I’m waiting for a passport renewal application to be processed, but apparently I only have five days before he is auctioned off.’
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: ‘This hospital is following new guidelines to ensure that the NHS remains free at the point of use to all who are entitled to it.’
’Labour is an incredibly cost-intensive process, and this means that all maternity patients in certain areas will be asked for proof of entitlement.’
’In the event that administration staff are overwhelmed with the new policy, we have issued guidance to accept less formal proofs, such as debit cards or only being able to narrow down the father to one out of nine.’