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When do you give your preference of hospitals for birth?

(23 Posts)
SPK22 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:03:32

Hi everyone,

I'm nearly 10 weeks pregnant and this will be my first baby. smile I live in North East London and met my GP in early Jan (when I was about 5 weeks) and told her about my pregnancy and she took all the details and filled it out all in a form. I mentioned to her about hospitals preferences and she said all that will be discussed when my first booking antenatal appointment is scheduled.

So, I was scheduled for my first antenatal appointment today at the King George Hospital, Ilford. When I was taken in for the appointment, I was told I was booked with Queens Hospital, Romford for my delivery in September. I was quite shocked and taken aback because I never gave Queens as my preference (that's the last hospital on my list, having read such horror stories about the maternity unit). I told the lady that I would prefer Homerton Hospital and that my GP mentioned I should be able to discuss preferences in my first appointment, i.e. today. The lady said it was completely wrong and all the hospital preferences are decided with the GP!

So, now having waited 1 month for my first antenatal appointment since I last met my GP, I have to restart from the beginning. I was meant to have my ultrasound in early March but that too is cancelled because of this blunder and now I have to see my GP tomorrow and start from scratch. sad

I am confused- when did all of you make your hospital preferences? Was it with the GP or was it at your first antenatal appointment?

I am getting all worried now that it will be too late till I have my first antenatal appointment followed by ultrasound later?

piprabbit Mon 11-Feb-13 16:07:15

Here, preferences are confirmed at the booking in appointment with the MW (usually happens at home around here)..
However I have heard some very positive things about the vast and ongoing improvements at Queens, which is good news for my local hospital which was coping with a lot of extra births during the worst of the Queens business.

redandwhitesprinkles Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:44

At the gp when I found out I was pregnant. I went to ask what to do, we got 3 choices. Be aware that your preferred choice may be full by now.

knittingirl Mon 11-Feb-13 16:18:29

I had my first mw appointment at 7 weeks and made my preference then. I haven't seen a gp at all (I'm now 12 weeks), just midwives.

Beamae Mon 11-Feb-13 16:31:45

I decided at the GP appointment. I wouldn't get too hung up on Homerton hospital. I had my twins there in 2011 and it was not the best experience of my life. Dirty, run down, paint peeling off the walls, stained bedclothes. Uncaring midwives. Mean and lazy SCBU staff.

I had an appointment towards the end of my pregnancy in which the midwife literally didn't notice that I was pregnant for the duration of a 20 minute appointment and thought I was there for an postnatal checkup! When I mentioned at the end that I was still pregnant, she was shocked.

You might be better off elsewhere.

weeblueberry Mon 11-Feb-13 16:34:01

Erm, no one's asked me yet. Presumably this is because in Edinburgh there's one main hospital and most people go there. But really there's another good hospital just on the outskirts and the Birthing Centre (which is my choice). I'm 28 weeks and will be mentioning it at my midwife appointment on Tuesday...

NipHipOutey Mon 11-Feb-13 16:50:43

I am under King George's but scheduled to have the baby at Queens....I wasn't given a choice per se, but I have mentioned to my midwife @ King Georges that I was considering other hospitals (Broomfield) and she told me to go and have a look....I don't think they can send you away if you turn up there in labour? Maybe I am wrong...anyway I am now feeling slightly more confident about Queens and the new midwife led unit as I feel they are going to throw a lot more resource at it to make it work after the horrors of the past...but that could be misplaced confidence?

Paradisefound Mon 11-Feb-13 16:58:18

Made appt with dr when got +ve test, was given 2 options then.

SPK22 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:06:18

Thank you for your responses ladies. Well, I will be seeing my GP tomorrow and hopefully sort out all the confusion.

However, I did call up Homerton Hospital some time back and spoke to a very polite midwife, Teresa. They have just been issued a circular today that women who lived outside the borough and who are due between 1st July and 30th September would not be able to deliver at Homerton because of over crowding in these months. So, there goes away my plan!

My husband and I have been house hunting since the last couple of months and want to move to the South West of London (Subiton/Kingston) so I think I would just mention Kingston Hospital to my GP because sooner or later we would be shifting there so might as well just mention this hospital as my preference now itself.

PS: Good to hear some thing positive about Queens but I am still little skeptical. Hmmm...

Kelerina Mon 11-Feb-13 17:08:00

weeblueberry i'm 37 weeks and in Edinburgh. They asked me when i phoned midwifes (lctc) to make first appointment. I think only choices are Royal Infirmary or St Johns (which you can chose I think even if you live in Edinburgh). If it's Royal then you can chose labour ward or birthing centre on the day (and fingers crossed it's not full!)

Oodsigma Mon 11-Feb-13 17:12:52

We only have one hospital. Next nearest is over an hour away, some poor people had to go there last week when ours was shut.

redwellybluewelly Mon 11-Feb-13 17:48:13

We dont have a choice. At all. Just one massive horrid hospital which brain damaged my baby last time.

Have no option but to be there again.

Hope you get something sorted, if all else fails then write to the supervisor of midwives at your chosen unit.

leannac Mon 11-Feb-13 18:20:41

I had to decide at first drs apt (between Kingston, George's or st helier) as our first booking apt happens at hospital. Saying that, at 20wks I decided to change hospitals & managed it with no probs

Christelle2207 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:23:46

Everyone has a choice, officially (in England anyway) and you can give birth wherever you want. Different in Scotland and Wales and for many others there may only be one practical choice. That's very shoddy of your gp. Mine was discussed at mw booking appt though she assumed I wanted local hospital and I said not necessarily...round here my antenatal appointments would be the same regardless but I could still choose a different hospital for birth.

redwellybluewelly Mon 11-Feb-13 20:05:33

How can you have a choice when there is only one hospital?

Like I wouldn't choose a different one given an option.

Christelle2207 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:08:03

presumably you do have another option but sadly its too far away to be practical? any nhs patient can now choose to be treated anywhere where facilities exist, though in the busiest hospitals in london it seems there are caps on how many can come from another area.
im sorry about your baby x

PurpleStorm Mon 11-Feb-13 22:33:25

Where I am, we get the booking appointment (first antenatal appointment) with the midwife at the GP surgery at about 9 weeks, and make hospital choices then.

Hope you get a hospital you're happy with, OP.

Paradisefound Tue 12-Feb-13 08:39:01

Lots of talk here about how you can give birth anywhere, I know so many people who have been booked in to their chosen hospital and then turned away on the big day due to overrun maternity wards & birthing suites/lack of staff.

Are they not allowed to turn you away now???

Phineyj Tue 12-Feb-13 08:46:06

I'm sure they can turn you away if they're full -- I can't see what other option they'd have?

piprabbit Tue 12-Feb-13 10:02:03

No - they can and do close the maternity units to new admissions when they are very busy. Women then have to go to another hospital.

MiaowTheCat Tue 12-Feb-13 12:57:55

Booking in appointment here - and since I have massive birth trauma issues from going to the other hospital last time I'm currently fighting to get marked out as a priority NOT to be forced to go there again if things are busy when I go into labour (apparently they're able to do this for special cases here - see if I get any joy from the birth trauma/phobia midwife next week).

Granted there are weeks it's so jammed round here they're sending people an hour away to the next city down the motorway so my hopes are minimal.

TTCmay Tue 12-Feb-13 13:25:37

I'm also in NE london - think GP asked what hospital I wanted to go to and then midwife confirmed at first appointment. I'm with Whipps although did threaten to move to Homerton (could never get hold of midwives/make appointments), but been better lately. Am sticking to Whipps.

Similarly I would not go to Queens.

Is Whipps an option? the traffic around Homerton can be a nightmare and parking is rubbish. Whipps is pretty easy to get to from most places in NE london - is just off North Circular.

sharni20 Tue 12-Feb-13 14:21:15

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