What are our options?(11 Posts)
We are an Australian couple who are relocating to London in a few weeks and we have just found out we are pregnant for our first time. We're elated but now also very worried about our maternity healthcare options and need your advice.
Our Australian private healthcare will only cover us if mum-to-be stays in Aust to have baby, but Dad2B must go to London to start new job, so this solution is not ideal. Dad2B's new job in UK provides Bupa private health but it does not cover maternity or birth. Our Aust Insurance cannot be transferred to UK. UK insurance companies won't cover us because we are already pregnant and won't clear the waiting periods.
Mum2B is afraid to use NHS and is very set on gping private. Cost seems extremely high. Online research indicates it could cost us £20k+.
What are our options? Any advice is appreciated.
Why afraid to use nhs? I've had 3 babies in nhs hospitals, all brilliant care and births. Really nothing to be afraid of and it's what most mothers in uk do. I know it's different in Australia, but research nhs hospitals/midwife units in London and I'm sure that will reassure you.
The nhs is where the majority of women in the uk have their babies. If there were any complications with your partners labour they would usually transfer her to an nhs hospital- this shows where the facilities are!
congratulations! on the pregnancy and the new job!
The NHS care as far as pregnancy and birth are conserned is really wonderful in the UK. It is what the majority of people use and we are all fine and were taken great care of, but i can compleatly see how it may seem an intimidating prospect, especially if you're used to a different system. Perhaps a good course of action would be to find out who your local surgery and GP would be and speek to them about your options? I'm sure they would be able to give you alot of info about how both systems work. But really i would support going with the NHS its brill, they will take amazing care of you. Good luck xox
Why is she against the NHS? As someone said up thread, even if you go for private maternity care, should there be complications, or the baby need NICU, you would more than likely be transferred to an NHS hospital (as far as I know there is only one private NICU in the UK and I don't know what level of care they provide and I would shudder at the cost - I'm fairly sure it costs in the region of £1000 a day to look after a baby in intensive care). I've had 2 sections on the NHS - one emergency, one elective (that ended up being done earlier than planned so more semi elective really) and I will forever be grateful to the hospital that saved mine and my dd1's life - and for free! My maternity care was mostly fantastic, and whilst the NHS gets a lot of bashing I think that on the whole it is a fantastic thing
You could hire an independent midwife for the course of the pregnancy - £3-4K - she will support you, guide you through the system, discuss all birthing options and give you weekly check-ups, AND you can still use free NHS resources, including scans and hospital for the actual birth. I would take advantage of a great system if I were you? How do you think most UK first-timers survive?
yes, nhs has a poor record internationally on maternity, but i'm not sure private mat care in the uk has a better safety record so unless you can easily afford it, you might not see anything extra safety wise for your money. you could think about a doula for the birth and extra maternity checks with a private midwife? what aspect of nhs care worries you?
Another supporter of the NHS. Like most things that people complain about you only hear the negative side, but without the NHS DD would have died.
I think the main difference between private and the NHS for having a baby is that you will get a private room and the food will be better. I don't think the actual healthcare is any better.
Also, a friend of mine has used private healthcare for various reasons (not maternity) and she says that because the rooms are all individual the nurses often miss things because they can't keep an eye on several patients simultaneously and if you ring for a nurse you often have to wait for ages. She ended up being rushed to hospital after one of her operations went wrong and said that the care she received at the NHS hospital was better than at the private one.
Also, many of the doctors work for the NHS as well and "moonlight" in private hospitals. Many operations take place in the evening after they have done a day's work in an NHS hospital. A couple of friends of mine are anaesthetists in NHS hospitals and say they would never have an operation in a private hospital.
Obviously in a maternity unit it will be different, but this is the reality of private healthcare where I live (not London).
As someone else said: is your wife entitled to (free) NHS care?
Where in London will you be based?
What is/are your wife's main concerns? Prenatal care (ie picking up problems)? Delivery? Postnatal care? All of those?
Would she consider a home birth? Could go along the route of a private midwife.
Could have NHS care with a private doula along to help (but that is more "moral" support than anything else - since they cannot deliver babies).
Shop around. What could you afford? £20k+ is the Portland. Try the NHS wings of the big NHS hospitals (St Mary's, C&W, St Thomas's etc) - they should be a bit cheaper (but can provide all private care withNHS back-up). Look further out (Watford/Kingston) are cheaper still I think ( for private care). Look at splitting the care between NHS and private: antenatal care on NHS (supplemented with extra private scans if you wish) - delivery and postnatal done privately. That would cut the cost somewhat.
NHS is fantastic there are a few bad reports that the media love to flaunt but proportionally it is the same as any care system but NHS sees a lot of patients.
Private don't offer all services and is expensive if you can afford and it will make mum 2 be feel better then a good option.
It is worth finding out if you are eligible for NHS but any concerns about the NHS a chat with a doctor or midwife should help. Watch one born every minute tonight on iplayer that is NHS.
Congrats on your pregnancy I know things are different in Oz but the UK has amazing health care options I hope you find something to suit and put your mind at rest.
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