A MUM has sung the praises of the NHS – after an off-duty health worker helped deliver her baby in a hospital car park.

Little Rico arrived eight weeks early – and could not even wait for his mummy to get to the maternity ward.

Young mum Hannah Borealis thought she was experiencing phantom contractions while out shopping in Blackburn.

But she soon realised that her baby was on the way and partner Adam Bellusci rushed her to Burnley General Hospital.

When the couple arrived at the hospital Adam ran to get help and quickly found a healthcare assistant waiting to be picked up after her shift.

The worker – known only to the couple as Margaret – came to the rescue and helped Hannah deliver her tiny little baby.

The 22-year-old from Darwen said: “I had some pain, but nothing too much, and I thought it was false contractions, which I had with my daughter.

“As the day went on, the contractions stopped, and I was out in shopping in Blackburn to buy things for my hospital bag.

“My partner Adam had gone to get a baby monitor while I had gone home. Then, I felt more harsh contractions.

“I just want to thank Margaret for all her help. If it wasn’t for her I would have been alone delivering Rico.

“She did a fantastic job. It was very surreal and a little scary, but he is safe and that’s the main thing.”

The healthcare assistant helped deliver the baby in the car and checked Rico was breathing and okay before handing over to medics inside the hospital – wrapped in his mother's pink Michael Kors designer coat.

Rico weighed just 4lbs 1oz when he came into the world just before Christmas. He is now a back home after spending his first month in neonatal care.

A hospital spokesman said: “Congratulations to Rico and his parents on his safe but unusual arrival in the world. No one can predict when labour will begin and for lots of reasons, babies are born before their due date. For women who choose to give birth in hospital, it is not uncommon for the birth to happen before they reach the hospital or birth centre.” Do you know the identity of healthcare assistant Margaret? Email lancsnews@nqnw.co.uk or call 01254 298205.