A furious father branded a hospital "a disgrace" after he was forced to deliver his girlfriend's baby in a maternity ward — because their midwife was busy elsewhere.
Thomas Howard, 33, frantically pressed the emergency buzzer when he realized that the baby's arrival was imminent.
But by the time the midwife returned, his girlfriend Emily Baron had already given birth to their daughter Madeline, who weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces.
On Monday, sheet metal engineer Howard threatened to make an official complaint about their treatment at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, Lancs.
"We don't want anyone else to go through what we did," Howard said.
"How we were treated was a disgrace. If there had of been a disaster in the town and it was chaos, I could have understood it. But you expect a midwife to be there at the birth when you are actually in the delivery ward. I don't think it is much to ask."
Howard and Baron, 26, were especially worried because they had experienced problems during the births of their 2-year-old son Adam and 1-year-old daughter Deni.
"My one-year-old daughter was born with a cleft lip and Adam had breathing difficulties at birth. They both needed assistance at delivery, and if this had happened to them, I dread to think what the outcome would have been," Howard said.
Howard arrived at the hospital and alerted staff when he noticed Emily was losing blood.
"When I asked the midwife if this was normal she said she didn't know, which didn't fill me with confidence at all," Howard said.
"She then went away, leaving me and Emily on our own. It was then I noticed the baby's head coming through. I pressed the buzzer to get some assistance, but nobody came and I decided that I would have to step in. Emily was shouting at me to get a nurse but no one came. When I saw the baby's head I was a little nervous but my survival instinct kicked in. I delivered Madeline, put her on her side and tapped her back to get her breathing."
Hospital chiefs pledged to investigate last night as the National Childbirth Trust also blasted the treatment of Thomas and Emily.
"I would like to apologize to Ms Baron and her partner for the distress they experienced when their baby was born at Royal Blackburn Hospital," a spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals National Health Services Trust said.