How do you choose a hospital?

Chelsea & Westminster or St Georges?

Private versus NHS?

Home birth or maternity ward?

If you're thinking about where to actually give birth, or which hospital to attend pre-birth, then this is your section on NappyValleyNet.com

If you can't find what you're looking for then simply ask a member of our community and I am sure someone will soon be able to help.
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louve05
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How do you choose a hospital?

Postby louve05 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:59 pm

Hi all! I have just found out I am pregnant for the first time, and my GP told me to select a hospital and self-refer there within the next 2 weeks. The closest one to where I live is St George, but I have never really liked that place..! The other options are St Thomas or Chelsea and Westminster, both seam quite good so I don't really know how to choose. Do any of you recommend one or the other? Or do you have any tips on how to choose? I feel completely clueless..!

soph
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby soph » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:03 pm

My advice would be to go to your most local hospital. I made the mistake of going to Thomas for my first and well the journey there was excruciating! Had my next 2 at St. George's which was so much calmer.. people always have good and bad experiences of different hospitals but it's meaningless in my view as it comes down to the staff and your personal experience on the day. For me St. George's was fab and Thomas awful! My only other thought would be if you gave any difficulties after the birth then most babies get transferred to St. George's due to its excellent special care units. Good luck - you will be fine whatever you decide!

pepper
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby pepper » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:31 pm

I choice Thomas because it was on the half way from my home and my husband work. So its works with any appointments etc. I wasn't so happy. They didn't give me much attention. I was asking for a day to help me with breastfeeding and the answer was we are busy. But when they found out that the baby wasn't fed they were very upset with me and made feel awful. With my secon child we were back as she got temperature 2 days after we left hodpital and we went to the children hospital Evelyn. It was much better. Any appointment with dr in the children hospital was great. The hospitals used to do a tour around so maybe its good to have a look all of them and make a good decision. Good luck

Bunnypigeon1
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby Bunnypigeon1 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:33 pm

I had my first at Thomas' and my second and third at C&W.
I would recommend C&W - it's calmer, less frantic and just seems a bit cleaner and more organised! Plus you can upgrade to the private rooms after giving birth which is a huge plus (I liked the experience so much I went full private for the 3rd- it's like flying business class, you never want to go back to economy lol).

louve05
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby louve05 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:51 am

Thank you! This is very helpful :)

Wimbo_mum15
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby Wimbo_mum15 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:05 pm

My experience at St George's was fantastic. Really great staff, my emergency c-section went very smoothly and i got a private room for only £150 per night. I believe the other hospitals charge up to £1k! I have only heard bad stories about Chelsea and Westminster from my friends about overcrowding and rude staff etc. I've also heard really good things about St Thomas's too!

Good luck!

Bunnypigeon1
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby Bunnypigeon1 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:23 pm

For me St Thomas' was, for the most part, a nightmare. Long waits, induction kept getting postponed, horrible midwives. The theatres were so overcrowded they had to do a forceps delivery in the room, which I later learned is completely against protocol. However (and it is a big however!), my daughter needed a lot of help when she was finally born as she wasn't breathing. At that moment of actual emergency, I cannot fault them, they were brilliant. 10+ doctors in the room within minutes, amazing staff pulling all the stops. It's fair to say I have mixed feeling about that hospital!

lemondrizzles
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby lemondrizzles » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:55 am

My experience is at St. George's from Jan 2016.

I had a private room. Midwives were ok. Consultant teams great. I'd go back.

louve05
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby louve05 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:51 pm

Such a hard choice! I'm getting so many good and bad reviews for each hospital, it really looks like it's a matter of luck :/

headshrinker
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby headshrinker » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:14 pm

Just out of interest, Louve05, what is it that you don't like about St George's? It's a large, well-respected hospital with a great rep for neonatal care. All the replies here are good. Just wondering what is putting you off?

Alchemy
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby Alchemy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:03 pm

We had all of ours at C&W, and were very happy with everything.

We are about equidistant between C&W and St George's, but C&W has better public transport and parking, so a bit more convenient.

Care from midwives and doctors was outstanding.

They also offer private rooms, at £300 per night, but on a first come/first served basis, so we never got one as we were discharged before one became available... The shared rooms have eight beds, so can be a bit noisy when fully occupied, but they are very helpful to make sure you get a lot of rest.

I think you'll see very quickly during scans and check-ups whether you like a hospital, and can change before delivery if you're not happy. You can also have a tour to see the facilities etc

MummyWalker
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby MummyWalker » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:21 pm

One thing to add is that whatever decision you make, it's not irreversible. I started off booked in at one hospital for my first baby but at around 28 weeks I felt a bit unsure so went to my GP to get referred to C&W. I was very happy with my care there and had my second baby there a couple of year's later, despite having moved slightly further away.

Bodders1
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby Bodders1 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:44 pm

I had a horrendous experience at C&W with my first. I was also slightly put off St Georges even though it is my nearest hospital. I gave birth to my second son at St Thomas's in the private wing (due to insurance policy which covered placenta previa which meant c section was only way to go). My experience of the Lanesborough wing was great but you obviously can't directly compare the experience of going privately to not. St Georges were brilliant when my elder son was admitted to the hospital with bird flu and we have used their paediatric A&E lots of times and I have always found the care to be fantastic. I wouldn't write it off. Good luck deciding!

louve05
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby louve05 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:03 am

headshrinker wrote:Just out of interest, Louve05, what is it that you don't like about St George's? It's a large, well-respected hospital with a great rep for neonatal care. All the replies here are good. Just wondering what is putting you off?


I have been referred to St George's a few times by my GP and didn't have great experiences, the consultants seemed good but the visits were rushed as the hospital was overcrowded and in one occasion I didn't feel the doctor read my file or listened to anything I said. Haven't got any experiences with their maternity service though, so I'll see if I can visit it before choosing a hospital.

Thank you so much to all of you for all those helpful tips!

dudette
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Re: How do you choose a hospital?

Postby dudette » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:34 am

St Thomas's used to do tours of the maternity unit - might be worth checking if they still do and if the other hospitals do to. Then you can decide which one you like the look of. To be honest though I agree with the others - it's just down to the luck of the draw which midwife you get. My suggestion would be to get a birth doula who will accompany you to hospital and will act as your advocate, as well as support you through the process. Compared to a private midwife they're very good value. They're not medically qualified but have been to enough births to understand the process and can explain what's going on.


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