Our Emergency Department is extremely busy. 

If you need medical care or advice that is urgent but not an immediate, genuine emergency, please visit https://111.nhs.uk/ or call 111 first so trained NHS 111 advisors can tell you the best place to be seen quickly.

Please remember there is also the Urgent Treatment Centre at Seaton House, NG2 4LA.

Patient Stories

The Homebirth of Thomas Hartshorne born 9 April 2022. 

A little brother for George, 3 years old, born at QMC in 2019

As told by his parents Sarah and John Hartshorne

Sarah & John Hartshorne


Sarah had a lovely, uncomplicated, first birth in the pool at QMC.  With her second pregnancy, she thought she’d really like a home birth as she didn’t feel it was risky and it would enable her to introduce the newest member of her family in her family home, in a natural and calm environment.  She didn’t do anything about it until her Community Team suggested she’d be a good candidate for a home birth. Sarah then chatted it over with her husband, John, and decided it would be a great experience for the whole family to be at home for the birth.

However, Covid-19 then hit and home births were suspended. Sarah thought that was it and her home birth just wouldn’t happen.  She resigned herself to another hospital birth, which wasn’t an issue as she’d had such a lovely experience first time around. 

Then at 39 weeks she saw on the Facebook group page that home births were starting up again.  She didn’t think much about this until the community team got in touch and again encouraged Sarah to go for it.

Sarah says: “Suddenly, a home birth became a potential option. The community team were really positive and encouraging. To be honest, it was quite empowering from my perspective and I can’t thank them enough for their support, enthusiasm and care in making this work for me.  They really did give me a wonderful experience.”

Once everything was set up at home, with a pool and towels at the ready, like most new mums to be, it was then a case of waiting.  At one of her final antenatal appointments, Sarah was told baby’s heart rate was a little unusual and was advised to go into QMC for a check-up.  She did this and thankfully everything was ok. 

Only half an hour after returning home, Sarah went into labour at about 5.30 pm and she called the community team.  Once again Sarah thought her home birth might not happen if baby decided to arrive in the middle of the night.  However, the community team arrived and Sarah settled in for the wait with her family around her.

Sarah says: “It was lovely, such a calm experience, apart from the normal birthing pains which unfortunately you can’t escape! As I was at home, I had my husband and mum there with me and George had his grandad looking after him and was asleep next door. Originally I had envisaged another pool birth, however as the labour progressed I felt most comfortable upstairs in a lying position. Again the team were great in responding to me as things naturally developed.

“I felt supported and safe throughout the whole experience and I’d definitely recommend a home birth to anyone who is suitable for one. The birth itself is one of the proudest moments of my life.”

Unfortunately, the baby had shoulder dystocia, which is when one of baby’s shoulders gets stuck during birth.  However, with help from the two midwives supporting her, Sarah changed position and Thomas was delivered into her arms in her own bed.

Sarah did, however, need stitches and the paramedics were called to take her to hospital.  The paramedics thought they were attending a birth, so it turned into a bit of a celebratory journey once they realised baby was already here.  Sarah had her stitches at QMC and was only in hospital for about 3 to 4 hours.  Once she’d explained her home birth to the team on the labour ward, everyone rallied round to get her home as quickly as possible.

Sarah adds: “Thomas’s big brother George woke up and immediately joined us for cuddles with the newest addition to our family; in the room he was born.”

Baby Thomas     Thomas & George

Thomas David Hartshorne was born on 9 February 2022 at 9.51 pm and was 9lbs 2oz.

We wish Sarah, John, George and Thomas all the very best for their future together.







If you have a story that you'd like to share with others on this page and via social media, please contact us about your experience on maternityviews@nuh.nhs.uk