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Honest advice needed for choice of North London hospital

(12 Posts)
cbongo Mon 28-Oct-13 17:03:05

Hi,

I would really appreciate any advice that can be offered regarding choosing a hospital in or near North London for pregnancy care (antenatal, labour and postnatal).

I am 5 weeks pregnant again after suffering a miscarriage at 13 weeks in the summer and am obviously very anxious. For the first pregnancy I was referred to the Whittington and unfortunately apart from one Doctor who was amazing, the rest of the care received there was very poor. This was mainly due to poor communication within the hospital, lack of staff empathy and advice and poor administration of appointments etc. The experience has left me with little confidence and I would feel anxious going back there.

This time around I was hoping to choose a different hospital and have been advised by my GP that I can go to the UCL or Royal Free.

Does anyone have any advice they can offer based on recent experiences of either the Whittington (which may make me reconsider), the UCH or the Royal Free?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

muzzy1 Mon 28-Oct-13 17:24:16

Hi
I had my dd at St Mary's Paddington and had a really good experience with the whole pregnancy/labour etc. I don't know if you can choose there or it's too far but they have a lovely birthing centre too.
Personally I have heard very bad things about the Royal Free and very good things about UCH. That is from friends of mine who have given birth at both.

HollowayGal Mon 28-Oct-13 21:22:28

We started our antenatal care at the Whittington. It was fine at first and I liked the midwife who did the booking appointment, but the sonogrqpher when we went for our first scan was really rude and horrible. Similar to you I also found it a bit chaotic and at times it was impossible to get through on the phone.

The Whittington hasn't been modernised like other hospitals (I understand they are about to refurbish the maternity wing) but I wouldn't have minded the physical environment if the care was kind, professional and you could have total trust in it. Unfortunately this wasn't the case for us so after talking to friends we have moved to UCLH.

Several friends had babies there and couldn't praise it enough. We have only had one appointment there so far but it was all well organised and the facilities look great. We had a trainee midwife and a qualified one supervising her. I got my blood test results in the post after about. 2 weeks whereas I never received them at all from the Whittington after 2 months (I think I was due to discuss them with midwife at the next appointment, but it is nice to get them sooner). I should say that I have friends who had a good experience at the Whittington, but you need to be comfortable with your choice and we are really happy with our decision to switch to UCLH. Both hospitals have a birth centre with water pools etc as well as the labour ward if that is a factor for you.

Hope this helps.

Shellywelly1973 Mon 28-Oct-13 22:25:44

Im booked into the Whittington & I've been very impressed with the care I have received. I was abit shocked at the condition of the maternity unit but im planning a home birth so the condition of the unit isn't a big issue for me. It is currently being modernised.

I gave birth at the Royal Free in 2001 & had my ante natel care there in 2005. I was seriously unimpressed with the care I received with both pregnancies. With the pregnancy in 2005 I transfered to the Edgware Birth Centre. Received fantastic care at Edgware. Apparently The Royal Free has improved...

I've no experience of UCLH. Though I've never heard a bad thing about it!

Good luck.

firstimer30s Mon 28-Oct-13 22:41:41

Hi cbongo, this is my first pregnancy and I am with the Royal Free. Am at 22 weeks and so far they have been great. I had a shaky start (bleeding, weren't sure if baby would be ok) and they were brilliant - gave me quick appointments and follow ups, let me see a consultant for second opinion when I was nervous/ unsure.
A few weeks ago I had cramps (which is pretty normal) but I called in and insisted I be seen and got told to come in straight away (to be fair I was a bit pushy)
I had a walk in appointment, got seen within 30 mins by a midwife who checked me out and said it was all normal. She could see I was still worried so she took the time to listen to the baby's heartbeat and wouldn't let me leave until I had heard it for myself and felt better!
I have heard negative reports of them in the past but so far, they have been just great.

cbongo Tue 29-Oct-13 18:29:38

Thanks so much for your advice guys, great help. Hollowaygal, it's interesting what you say about the Sonographer at the Whittington as this is exactly what I experienced and is one of the reasons I am reluctant to go back.

Thanks again :-)

onelittlepiglet Tue 29-Oct-13 22:57:02

I spent the first 30 weeks of my first pg at The Royal Free under consultant care as I have an under active thyroid. I then moved to SE London so changed hospitals. I had a really good experience at the royal free and had very good care, good doctors and midwives etc. No problems with sonographers and I had an early scan because if bleeding - they were very sensitive and sensed how terrified I was. Obviously I didn't give birth there so can't comment on that, but definitely think it's a good place for antenatal care.

Cariad007 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:50:04

So far I've had a good experience at the Whittington - yes, I have had to wait occasionally but once I've got to see someone they've been very good. I had some worries with my first scan and they were extremely helpful and arranged for me to have my second at the Fetal Medicine Unit with a consultant at UCH, which really helped put my mind at rest. I've heard very good things about their Birth Centre, which has been open since 2009 I think, so am hoping to give birth there rather than on the labour ward. It is a bit odd how you see the midwife at your booking-in appointment and then don't see her again til you're 28 weeks but I think that's standard in all hospitals.

Chilli81 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:46:57

I had very good care at the Royal Free in 2011. I'd heard it had improved a great deal. They only negative was that they only have 3 rooms in the birth centre which were all being used when I went in but then the labour ward was good in that all of the rooms had en-suites with big baths which I used for pain relief. The midwife who cared for me during labour was brilliant.
Post natal ward, not so good but I hear that is the case wherever you go due to concentration of resources on all stages up to birth.
I am now at the Queen Charlottes (next to Hammersmith hospital) only because it's closer to my new house but would have returned to the RF otherwise.

tethersend Wed 30-Oct-13 14:48:34

Have had two babies at UCL, and cannot fault them; was very happy with the care.

Alanna1 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:53:20

UCL. No question. Both my babies there, and many of my friends too. I have heard negative stories all your other options.

You can also see the overall ratings from the care commission.

Thisismyfirsttime Wed 30-Oct-13 15:20:05

I've heard a lot of great things about UCH and I know a lot of people who have given birth there. I am under the Whittington with my first and I have no complaints so far but I have not experienced any difficulties or complications so I can't comment on that. I have a friend who gave birth very recently in the birthing centre and she loved the care she recieved. Personally I would avoid the Royal Free like the plague but I do understand that recently they have improved massively, however I must confess my judgement is clouded when it comes to RF.

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