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Dad lit up birth with phone in blackout.

A HUSBAND was forced to use his mobile phone as a torch to allow midwives to deliver his wife's baby after a hospital blackout.

Back-up generators failed to kick in at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when the electrical failure hit.

But staff were able to deliver the baby in the maternity unit's birthing pool using the phone.

Consort - who run non-clinical services at the hospital - are expected to be fined around pounds 100,000 for the failure, which took place in high winds on December 8. Privately, health chiefs are said to be deeply concerned that back-up generators failed.

After the power went off, emergency batteries kept intensive care, surgical theatres and A&E in operation but the rest of the hospital, which opened in 2003, was without power for 11 minutes.

A source said: "Mum and baby were absolutely fine. It was quick thinking by the dad and fantastic work by the staff."

Unison branch chairman Tom Waterson said: "Staff have become used to having to deal with these power outages."

NHS Lothian chief operating officer Jackie Sansbury said: "NHS Lothian's PFI provider, Consort, did not meet the performance requirements for December, as laid down in our contract."

Consort director Stephen Gordon said: "There were some minor interferences in the distribution of power which meant areas of the site didn't get power for a little while.

"There was no issue in terms of safety but areas of the hospital didn't get power as quickly as we'd have liked."

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POWER FAILURE J ERI CRITICISM J Waterson
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 14, 2012
Words:257
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