A SOON-to-retire head of midwifery crowned off her career with an unexpected delivery - in a hospital car park.

Liz Ross was just arriving for work at York Hospital when she spotted a drama unfolding in the car park - and stepped in to save the day.

Sarah and Edward Alderson, from Dunnington, had rushed to the site at about 7.30am on Wednesday as Sarah went into the final stages of labour with their third child.

As Edward rushed into the building to alert staff that a baby was on its way, Sarah started to get out of the car.

The mum, who was one week overdue, said: “My waters broke in the car on the way to the hospital, which Edward isn’t very pleased about, and as soon as I got out of the car, the baby didn’t want to wait any longer, and made an appearance with me standing next to the car.”

Liz, who has 32 years’ experience as a midwife and is due to retire within weeks, saw what was happening and rushed over.

She said: “As I pulled up I saw immediately something unusual was happening. I went over to the car and saw Sarah was already giving birth. I just had time to reassure her that I was midwife and was able to help before baby arrived."

Maternity staff arrived with towels and blankets and bundled 7lb 14oz baby Rose, born at 7.55am, and mum Sarah into hospital.

Sarah, who works as a solicitor in Leeds, said: “I was on my own in the car so I was very relieved to see someone when Liz arrived. Everyone here has been amazing, the help and support I’ve received has been fantastic – I really couldn’t have asked for more.

“In terms of birthing plans, everything went out of the window. I like plans and being in control, so when things are taken out of my hands in this way, it can be quite frightening, but the team at the hospital were fantastic. I knew I was in safe hands.”

Baby Rose is Sarah and Edward’s third child - a new little sister for Ben, age seven, and Jasmin, age five, who were taken to their pre-school club by a neighbour.

Sarah, 39, said: “We were kept in hospital for 12 hours. Everyone’s just happy Rose made a safe arrival and we’re both okay but it’s quite a story to tell, everyone’s quite aghast.

“Jasmin is super excited about having a little sister, I think Ben is a bit more reserved about it - rose was a bit vocal last night, so we’re all just adjusting at the moment.”

Liz said the unexpected delivery was a suitably memorable way to round off her career.

She said: “It was a special moment for me as it will probably be the last baby I’ll help to deliver in my career. Thanks to Sarah and Edward and baby Rose for letting me be part of this wonderful occasion.”

Sarah added: “We had a first class service, they were all absolutely fantastic. They made me feel at ease and comfortable at quite a challenging time.

“It’s quite an event when you go onto the ward - how busy everyone is and what a fantastic job they do and we’re all very happy and lucky to have a service like the NHS.”