Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital

(20 Posts)
June2009 Thu 20-Nov-08 10:45:59

hiya!

I am due in June 2009, coming up to 12 weeks now and I've been referred to Chase Farm Hospital by my GP where I met a midwife in the Ridgeway centre.
There's another choice there as well. the Edgware centre, both led by midwives afaik, with hospitals nearby if needed.

I was wondering if any of you had given birth there or round that area and would recommend them or somewhere else?

I have seen the Watchdog episode about Chase Farm and Branet hopsital last year and they've been in the news about closing the maternity unit so I'm not entirely confident this is where I want to go, although everyone was very nice when we visited and it is the closest I can think of.

Thanks!

MrsMattie Thu 20-Nov-08 13:05:12

Hi there. I live in Barnet.

I have heard fabulous things about Edgware birthing centre through my work for the NCT. I also know several women who have given birth at Chase Farm (the birthing centre) recently and have had positive experiences.

However, I have not heard good things about Barnet hospital maternity ward. I haven't personally given birth there, but I have been an inpatient on the maternity ward after having my baby and I was very unhappy with my treatment. The ward seemed completely understaffed and over stretched, I waited thirteen hours to see a doctor (in a situation that was quite serious), and the midwife who discharged me urged me to write a letter of complaint to the director of clinical services, as she felt my treatment had been so poor.

Worth bearing in mind that if you choose a birth centre birth and you then have to be transferred to hospital, you'll go to Barnet Hospital from both Chase Farm and Edgware birthing centres.

The Whittington, Royal Free and even some of the central London hospitals like UCH/EGA might also be options for you.

Good luck!

brownmia Fri 21-Nov-08 22:23:52

I have given birth at Chase Farm twice, 2006 and a few months ago. From my experiences would def recommend the Ridgeway, a really nice environment and if you manage to give birth there you get your own room at the end of it all!

I started off in the Ridgeway for my first and ended up in the labour ward (any complications/problems you are immediatley sent down to the labour ward)and for no.2 gave birth on the Ridgeway but ended up in theatre with a retained placenta - so both times ended up in the maternity ward - which from what I can gather is not unlike most maternity wards - busy, understaffed and a bit shabby (oh yes, and appalling food), although felt the level of care was overall better during my latest stay. MrsMattie - if you choose the Ridgeway and have to be transfered to hospital you'll only go downstairs (or was it upstairs?!) not to Barnet.

I was originally booked at the Royal Free for my first and UCH for my second - decided due to traffic/parking nightmares at both of these hospitals to go with the much closer option at Chase Farm.

From what i understand the maternity unit at chase farm has been saved...

Anything else just ask.

MegBusset Fri 21-Nov-08 22:32:44

"Worth bearing in mind that if you choose a birth centre birth and you then have to be transferred to hospital, you'll go to Barnet Hospital from both Chase Farm and Edgware birthing centres"

This is not true. Chase Farm has its own consultant-led labour ward which is on the floor below the Ridgeway. DS was born there -- I started at the Ridgeway but ended up needing an epidural so got transferred downstairs.

The maternity ward is being closed at CF (the MLU will stay) but not for a couple of years, it will certainly be open next summer AFAIK.

If you are at Edgware then you will be transferred to Barnet if any probs. However, Barnet has had episodes of closing the maternity ward due to overcrowding in which case you would go to CF. There was a tragic case a few months before DS was born when a woman was giving birth at Edgware and got into difficulties. Barnet was full and by the time the ambulance got to CF the baby had been starved of oxygen and died.

My experience of giving birth at CF was fine, not brilliant (the place is understaffed and under-resourced) but no horror stories either. I am booked in to the Ridgeway for DC2 next spring.

I know StarlightMackenzie had a very positive birth experience at Edgware recently, she reckons it's great. We live very close to CF so that;s why we've chosen the Ridgeway instead.

HTH, sorry it's a bit rambling, happy to answer any more qs...

Scifinerd Fri 21-Nov-08 22:37:58

Hi I had a similar experience to MrsMattie at Barnet Hospital and personally would need to be dragged there unconcious to get me back in there.

I chose to have my dc at UCH and thoroughly recommend it but appreciate the logisitcs aren't great. I have also heard good things about Watford and The Whittington.

rodgershawk Fri 21-Nov-08 22:52:17

I would not get too stressed as to where you end up because what will be will be. You certainly do not want to hear horror stories as I believe that every experience is different.
I had my son in Barnet In February, as did most of the mums I now mix with through anti natal groups etc.
Anyway I had a fantastic experience.(as had the other mums I know from the same time) It was clean, the staff were helpful and friendly, the food was great, the tea/coffee available all night was a good touch.
I had an emergency c-section after being in active labour for 22 hours and honestly could not have asked for more.
If you live in Barnet, stay close, because when its time you really dont want to worry about getting up to Camden (Whittington) and parking etc etc
Good Luck

300609 Tue 30-Dec-08 13:16:12

At the moment, I can only comment and say that their initial care is excellent.

After much wrangling with my GP (Lincoln Rd Medical Practice- avoid at all costs), I called the Ridgeway BC and asked for advice. They were very hepful and welcoming and it made me feel confident that I wanted to have my birth there. With Consultant led units, the care is not as attentive and I have had rave reviews from friends that Ridgeway BC is very good and the midwifes are caring and friendly. I will update this in future to let you all know what there care is like!!!

I am due in June 09 aswell and I have had great difficulties with my Doctor giving me a referal. Firstly I live Bush Hill Park and my nearest hospital is CF. However my doctor took it upon himself to 'refer' me to North Mid. At 14 weeks pregnant, I still have not had my initial scan and North Mid didnt even have me on their system! i.e. the doctor never sent a referel letter I can only assume.

bessiebighead Tue 30-Dec-08 13:40:01

It's really worth doing a tour of your options, if you have the time. It can give you a more concrete idea of what's on offer. And you can check out timings to and fro.

I was booked into RFree and happy with their birthing unit, but then did a tour of Edgware and found it was much closer to what I wanted for the birth. In fact it and their staff were fabulous.

Unfortunately, i had complications before the due date, and so I ended up at RFree. Almost tempted to try for another just to experience the EBC, though.

Had a friend give birth at the Whittington last year, and would avoid due to hygiene. Rfree maternity ward was seriously busy at the time and post natal care was very stretched and not great for me or the other women on my ward. Understandable as completely down to staff numbers. Tough job.

Don't know if that helps, but good luck!

louiseyd Thu 01-Jan-09 23:05:45

I hope I am not speaking too soon but I am booked into chase farm for a second time (1st in 2006) and about to have baby 2. I think they seem to have improved quite a bit. I had to stay on the ward for a night recently and found it much cleaner and better staffed with what seemed to be, friendlier staff! The menus are in the process of changing too. I have had a few probs this time and have seen a number of different docs and midwives who have all been great and my GP rates ALL of the obstetricians who work out of chase farm as all being good and opted to have her 2 babies there rather than Barnet which is nearer to her home. Obviously you are aiming for a midwife lead birth but at 12 weeks its early days and you never know if you will need to see one at some point during pregnancy and labour.

Another sign that all is not too bad a chase farm is that many of the midwives (from ridgeway and clinics and community) seem to still work there despite the threat of closures. Often when morale is poor staff leave in droves. It seems like an ok place to me, an lets face it, none of the hospitals in north london area did amazingly in recent surveys of maternity care.

I gave birth on the labour ward as did a number of my friends who were booked for midwife lead deliveres due to lengthy first time births / pain relief etc and it was reassuring to only have to pop downstairs in the building. My DD also needed an urgent ventousse as got in distress just prior to delivery and the docs were there in seconds and she was out in minutes and all was good and very calm. The docs were lovely too. Many of my friends on their second baby managed to deliver at the ridgeway as faster, easier labours and loved it.

I had to visit the labour ward over xmas for monitoring and the effort the staff had made with decorations and music etc was pretty impressive too (I work in nhs and its up to motivated people to do things like that!!). Small point but as an NHS professional I feel these are all signs of a good team.

I am sure Edgware BC is fab, but I can't see a reason not to opt for CF. For me its so near home too, my hubby could pop back and fetch tings in minutes.

Good luck with your choice

All 3 of my children (now 10, 8 and 4) were born at barnet and the care that my babies and I received during labour and the births was fantastic.

Friends of mine had their first baby at barnet (he is nearly 2) and they too said that the care was excellent.

I think it largely depends on the midwife you get at the time.

Why not have a look around to see what you think?

SweetBROODY Mon 19-Jan-09 12:57:35

I wonder if more people have had positive experinces at Barnet.. Being Diabetic I dont really have much choice where I give birth.. all these stories about Barnet is really scaring me

Jenbot Mon 19-Jan-09 15:59:43

Spent a week and a half in Barnet this July and 6 nights in Chase Farm in various baby related wards.

The food is MUCH better at Barnet. Barnet is cleaner too and more 'modern' looking. More staff at Chase Farm were rude although you get good and bad wherever you go I guess. Barnet was very busy...

Hello smile

Just my experience

DC1:
Tue night -
Chase Farm Labour Ward for monitoring: Under-resourced. Nothing explained. 3 people faffing around in my fanjo without telling me what they were doing. One of them picking their nose when greeting me. Left for hours wondering what was going on. Very scared. A woman was crawling and screaming in the coridoor but I heard that she wasn't able to go to delivery (and therefore get drugs)because she wasn't far enough along. My blood pressure soared. Threated induction due to high blood pressure. Went home in tears.

Wed morn -
Ridgeway birthing centre
Caring midwives, but not particularly experienced or competent. Didn't live up to my expectations at all. No continuity of care (had 4 midwives during a 10hour labour). Chased me round the bed with the pethadine needle because I was making too much of a fuss even though I said I didn't want it. Made to give birth on my back despite my protests of wanting to give birth upright. Refused the pool for no reason. Inexperienced mw pulled on the cord for a natural third stage which is a BIG no-no leading to high blood loss.

However, the place was peaceful and empty. The room that I arrived in was the room I gave birth in and recovered in (for 2 nights) and my DH could come and go as he pleased in a 24 hour period and they allowed my mum in from 10pm - 2am. I had stitching that left me with a fanjo that coud rival a designer vagina!

Edgeware Birthing Unit
Tisn't a birth centre, it is a Birthing Retreat Spa.

Extremely competent and experience mws. No internal examinations (unless you want them) since they could 'just tell'. All rooms have en-suite pools (shaped with curves in different places so that you can easily find a side to lean/sit on whatever your shape and height) and showers. Birthing pool filled on arrival. Lights dimmed for arrival. MW at arms length away and very hands off. One mw per woman. The pain relief they offer is immediate on asking. Allowed me 3 birth partners. After the birth you move into an en-suite room with a double bed and patio doors that lead to a private garden, and your DH stays if you want. Access to kitchen and microwave. Your own thermostat in your room.

But, you'll probably have to transfer to Barnet IF you need help. The story above is no more likely at this Birthing Centre than if you had the baby at home, or if you travelled into a hospital that was alread full. MW's don't let it get anywhere near an emergency before they will set up a transfer.

HTH

Hand on heart, The Ridgeway get's reasonable marks for effort (but possibly only because the labour ward is barbaric) but has a loooooong way to go before it becomes close to the Edgeware. The support I got from the Edgeware was phenominal. I was begging for an epidural at 2cm in the Ridgeway, but was turning G&A down at the Edgeware.

Also it is worth bearing in mind that if you want a waterbirth, the Edgeware is responsible for 15% of the UK's waterbirths. Many women who go to hospitals find that in fact being able to have a pool is actually a myth. When they get there there are excuses, the mw isn't comfortable with pools, there is someone already in it etc. etc. so if you are definate that that is what you want, the Edgeware will guarantee you one.

Hope that helps. Please go for a look around all of them though.

mumtola Mon 01-Feb-10 21:20:49

I had my daughter at Barnet. I had been booked for a home birth but she was 16 days late... at 12 days I went in for induction and they sent me home again after monitoring me for hours as the labour ward was short staffed sad

At 14 days I went back in and it took 2 days for induction to work. I hated the experience on the antenatal ward (Victoria ward) as they were so so so short staffed and always are (I spent time there during pg, too). I never got the attention I feel a pregnant woman deserves, noone had time to answer my questions until i burst into hysterical tears and people told me different things every time I spoke to them.

HOWEVER, on the labour ward the staff were all superb and I cannot fault them. They went out of their way to make me comfortable and didn't kick out my extra birth partner (I had 3).

Hated being back on Victoria ward afterwards though, and despite the paeds checking my daughter early on I didn't get signed out until after lunch as they were again short staffed - noone did anything but sign forms to let me go, but I had to wait hours.

daliab Wed 12-Jan-11 01:14:03

I had my baby in 2004 July, in Victoria ward. So sad was some of you had realy bad time. But I had the best experience of my life. The midwife behaved like a proper mother to me. Could not ask for more. I felt like I was surounded by family and friends. Moreover, surprising of all ... I was from other country. Thank you a lot for all you have given to my baby and me!!!! Biggest Thank You Ever!!!!

Horopu Wed 12-Jan-11 01:21:11

I had ds 1and 2 at Barnet and it was fine on the whole. But that was in 1998 and 2000 so not much use to you . Good Luck.

melwood Wed 19-Jan-11 20:52:42

Does anyone know if they allow your husband to stay with you the entire time through labour at Barnet Hospital? I've heard they make them leave after visiting hours and don't want to be left on my own!!

StartingAfresh Wed 19-Jan-11 23:18:40

I have given birth in Chase Farm MLU AND the Edgeware.

PM me if you like! smile

napa Fri 21-Jan-11 17:43:44

When you are on labour ward your birth partner can stay with you the whole time, there is no set visiting time. On the maternity ward there is set visiting times (8-8 for partners), but if you are in labour then your partner may be able to stay outside these times at the discretion of the midwife in charge.

Lolly129 Sat 30-Nov-13 10:21:49

Whilst the labour ward staff are fantastic, the same cannot be said for the staff on Victoria Ward. Their attitude is appalling. Their decision making is at times dangerous. When asked for help to breast feed with first baby was curtly told "Do yourself a favour and get a bottle. It's very busy here" second time in....too much of a horror story to post.

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