A Caithness mum says she was left in excruciating pain after travelling 100 miles from Wick to Inverness to give birth.
The woman claims she was left for nearly two full days in labour without a check-up or pain relief.
She and her partner, who are from Wick, have now criticised the NHS for its “lack of care”.
The couple were advised they would have to depart for Inverness due to the size of the baby.
They checked into Kyle Court, Raigmore Hospital’s accommodation facility, but despite arriving last Wednesday the couple said nobody from the hospital stopped to check on them that day or the day following.
They have now hit out after the mum went for a booked induction birth but was forced to wait another four hours in a “cupboard-like” waiting room because of a lack of hospital beds.
The father said: “We were booked in for an induction at 9pm on Thursday so we went across to the hospital and we were told there were no beds.
“It was just awful. It was awful for me personally but was a lot worse for my wife.
“I was more concerned at the fact that we were told there were no beds, yet my wife had been in labour for two days.
“What would have happened if it had got to the stage that the baby was coming? What would they have done then?
“We were sitting in a room on a hard chair and there was no contact – nothing.”
The couple were given a bed around 1.30am on Friday morning.
They have said that they were left aggrieved at the lack of pain relief, with the mother only given paracetamol to deal with the pain of childbirth.
Her partner added: “To be honest, I find it a joke. That’s the truth.
“When you have got a hospital sitting there in Wick and you can’t use it then what is the point?”
An NHS Highland spokesman expressed apologised for the situation not being up to the “expected standard” and encouraged the couple to contact the health authority’s lead midwife to investigate their concerns.
The couple has since raised concerns with the Caithness Health Action Team (Chat), who claimed this was not an isolated report of mothers who have had to give birth at Raigmore.
A spokeswoman said: “We are growing increasingly concerned about the capacity for Caithness mothers to give birth at Raigmore following the downgrading of the maternity model here in Caithness.
“Mothers have told us there is a lack of privacy and yet again this highlights the plight of health services to the people of Caithness.
“It is by time something changed and we will continue to push for those changes.”