Whipps Cross, North Middlesex, or Homerton?

(7 Posts)
NervousOfEastLondon Thu 08-Jan-15 22:34:03

I'm 8 weeks pregnant (nervous first-timer) and had my first nurse appointment this week, where I was asked to pick a hospital - have gone for Whipps but am now having a wobble, and wondered if anyone has recent experience of any of these hospitals?

I'm hoping to give birth in a birthing centre/MLU if at all possible, and am now wondering if I should have gone for North Middlesex on the grounds that their birth centre looks a bit bigger... Whipps and North Middlesex seem to get very mixed reviews online but these generally don't refer to the birth centres so am wondering if there is anyone who has given birth at either hospital more recently?

Homerton seems to get slightly more consistent reviews but birth centre seems smaller (not sure how common it is for them to get too full? Would they just send you to the labour ward?)

We live pretty much equidistant from Whipps Cross and North Middlesex, a bit further from Homerton, and will be travelling to hospital in a taxi when I go into labour.

Any recent experiences would be very gratefully received!

fancyanotherfez Fri 09-Jan-15 15:00:58

North Mid birth centre just been built, and is state of the art. My friend had her baby there and said it was fab. However, I had my first son there in the hospital, before they built the birth centre and the post natal ward was horrific, and as it's your first, you don't know how it's going to go. You may need to be transferred. I think though that yo can go back to the birth centre post birth, but I'd ask.

PinkyAndTheBump Fri 09-Jan-15 18:46:56

why don't you go for a visit to the both? WX does visits on Tuesdays at 6pm. You should have been given the number to call to book the visit at your booking in appt.

WX admin is a "little" bit chaotic - but all the staff I've met so far have been lovely, and there was a quiet efficient calmness around the delivery suite and birth centre when we visited.

Ask me again in a month, and I might give you a different opinion though ;)

NervousOfEastLondon Fri 09-Jan-15 20:50:28

Thanks for your posts. Pinky, we do plan to visit Whipps Cross, though the North Middlesex website suggests that they don't do tours.

Fancy, that's great that your friend had such a good experience. Fingers crossed!

To be honest, I'm a little bit miffed as the nurse at my surgery gave me no information at all other than that she'd had her own child at North Middlesex and would recommend it. She didn't mention there was a birth centre there, even when I said I liked the idea of giving birth in a midwife-led unit, nor did she mention it's no further than Whipps. Fair enough, I should have done more research, but I was still at the stage of getting my head round being pregnant!

Would appreciate hearing about anyone else's experiences!

MuffinMcLay23 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:23:47

Not sure about labour ward specifically, but the clinical reputation of whipps cross generally is poor so I would personally avoid that if there were other options.

GordonBennett2017 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:06:05

Hi appreciate this thread is over a year old....curious to know what NervousofEastLondon decided to do and the experience?? I'm in a similar position trying to decide between Whipps Cross and North Middlesex

ACatCalledFang Tue 08-Nov-16 13:23:01

Hello! That would be me, have changed names since then.... We stuck with Whipps, despite them being in special measures.

Never got within sniffing distance of the birth centre as went very overdue and was induced (and ended up with EMCS). The birth centre itself was closed last summer due to staff shortages but they converted a few rooms in the delivery suite into low risk rooms and my understanding is that the birth centre has subsequently reopened.

In terms of what Whipps is like as a hospital, it's mixed. Like most of the NHS, it's great in an emergency but woefully short staffed. If you search on my current user name, I think I've written about it before. Ante natal care was fine, mostly in the community which was nice and easy.

Labour: most of the staff were lovely, but I received awful "care" at the hands of one midwife while being induced. This may have contributed to it not working (failure to progress rather than anything more sinister - no negligence, but my wishes about things like being upright and mobile were ignored for no clinical reason). We made a formal complaint and that was upheld; I also had a birth debrief with them and they were excellent. If I found myself pregnant again, I would return as I genuinely believe I was unlucky - literally every other member of staff was wonderful.

Post-natal ward ok, hot as hell, but I expected worse. Clean. Very under-staffed but I think that's a problem everywhere. They were quite good on breastfeeding support but not very thorough - missed a severe tongue tie in our case.

I know other people who've given birth there and it's the usual mixture of experiences. One friend ended up with a crash section and is returning for an ELCS. Another had a broadly positive experience in the low-risk area. Another had a home birth with their team and was very happy.

Other friends in the area chose UCH (low risk, was very happy, now returning for number 2) and the Barkantine (ditto). I don't know anyone who gave birth at North Middlesex though. Avoid Newham - we were re-admitted there for feeding problems, it was awful. The Royal London is supposed to be very good on breastfeeding support if that matters to you.

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