A seven-month old baby died after being refused access to Stafford Hospital because its A&E department is shut at night and the children’s ward was full.
Holly Waters was pronounced dead on arrival at University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS) after a 22-mile (35km) journey by ambulance on 28 June.
She lived 2.5 miles (4km) from Stafford Hospital.
A hospital spokesman said the paediatric ward had been full and handling an emergency at the time.
Holly, who up until that point had been a normal, healthy baby, was found unconscious in her cot by her mother, Charlotte Waters.
‘Still be here’
The family called 999 and a paramedic arrived four minutes later at 22:46 BST.
It was at 23:37 BST that the baby reached the Stoke-on-Trent hospital.
Holly Waters’ parents are unhappy with the delay in getting to hospital
Stafford Hospital’s A&E has been shut from 22:00 to 08:00 since December, as Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust needs to recruit additional staff.
Holly’s father Sean Birch said this – and an already full children’s ward – had led to up to a 20-minute delay.
Mr Birch said: “We were actually told that she died two minutes away from North Staffordshire, but if she had gone to Stafford Hospital and they had managed to put a drip in and stabilise her, then send her to North Staffordshire, she would still be here today.”