babies and mothers at risk, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The Daily Mail said births outside maternity wards — in locations ranging from lifts to hospital toilets — went up 15% last year to almost 4,000. It said hundreds of women in labour are being turned away from hospitals because they are full.
The paper quoted official information obtained by an opposition MP as showing women gave birth in ambulances, A&E departments, unspecified areas including corridors, postnatal and antenatal wards and hospital reception areas.
spokesman Andrew Lansley, who obtained the figures, said the Labour government had cut maternity beds by 2,340, or 22%, since coming to power in 1997.