The creche at the new unit makes good use of the Best Burger Bar's outside catering facilities
The recent closure of the Grange Maternity Centre has forced Petersfield midwife Connie Traction to set up a birthing unit in a lay-by on the A3.
The ‘Best’ birthing unit shares a generator with the Best burger bar and is unique in offering instant coffee and a bacon burger to waiting fathers-to-be.
Traction said: “Fortunately the lay-by we’ve chosen is north of the Ham Barn roundabout. If it had been south of Petersfield there was always a chance people from the area would have refused to use us as they might not want Leigh Park shown as the ‘place of birth’.
“Because of the neighbouring burger bar, we’re never short of boiling water though the towels do tend to smell of fat.
“We’re proving particularly popular with teenage mums who are quite happy to give birth in a car in a lay-by as that’s how most of them conceived – and they’re only too happy to have their placenta served up as a side-dish with the ‘famous Best mushroom burger’, their first post-birth snack.”
A spokesman for the government said: “This is just the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we’re encouraging with David Cameron’s Big Society. And it follows on organically from the Tory ethos espoused by both Norman Tebbit and Iain Duncan Smith: if the maternity unit near you has closed down just get on your bike and find another – only in this case it’s a car.”
East Hampshire District Council is monitoring the situation carefully as, if it proves successful, they may extend the lay-by to enclose a library, a pull-in centre for the elderly and a CAT scanner using discarded all-in-one Canon printers and the headlights from a MkIII Cortina.