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Anyone in Croydon NOT going to Mayday hospital?

(87 Posts)
juliegillard Fri 04-Feb-05 13:17:23

I'm only just over 7 weeks pregnant and had my first GP appointment today. She confirmed what I'd already heard - that if you live in the Croydon area you are practically forced to go to Mayday to have your baby.

Well I've already stated that under NO circumstances am I going to Mayday (I'm very keen on a home birth actually but dear husband is against it at present - I'm working on him!).

So assuming that I go to a hospital at all, it will NOT be Mayday. But to achieve this apparently I should start now with writing letters to all and sundry to try to get 'permission' to have my funding transferred elsewhere - i.e. Sutton so I can use St Helier, or Redhill.

Is anyone else in the situation? Has anyone successfully done this and got permission to go elsewhere?


OP’s posts: |
nably Mon 07-Feb-05 14:17:54


Im not sure of your reasons for not wanting to go to Mayday but I can sympathise, I wouldnt want to go there either but have now moved away from the area.

A friend of mine also refused to go to Mayday when her son was ill and just took him to Redhill. I do believe that you have the right to refuse if there is good reason but not if you dont fancy it much! If I were you I would even make a reason up if you havent got one ie. previous trauma suffered there.

Good luck if you are still campaigning, sorry I cant be much help.

sandyballs Mon 07-Feb-05 14:44:03

Why are you so against Mayday? Have you had a bad experience there? Or is it just the usual rumours about the place? It has got a bad name but I had my twins there 4 years ago and had wonderful treatment, couldn't fault it.

SoupDragon Mon 07-Feb-05 15:34:07

If you are the south side of Croydon you should have no problems getting into East Surrey (Redhill). And should all else fail, if you turn up at (say) St Helier in labour having been "visiting friends in the area" they will not tell you to bog off to Mayday.

SoupDragon Mon 07-Feb-05 15:34:53

FWIW, I had no problems with Mayday at all. Both DSs were born there. I would advise paying for one of the "space available" private rooms though.

jodee Mon 07-Feb-05 15:50:26

Not an answer to your question either, but I also had ds there in 2000 and the refurbished maternity unit (and midwives) were excellent. Aftercare rubbish, as was the very ancient ward. Agree with Soupy about getting a private room if you do go to Mayday.

Moomina Mon 07-Feb-05 16:06:38

Just in answer to nably's post - you have a right to refuse to go to Mayday for any reason, or for no reason at all. It is your right to have your baby wherever you like. easily you are actually able to exercise that right in the NHS is often a different matter!

Can you contact your midwives directly? Or try association of radical midwives for more info on homebirth and support in having your birth where you feel happiest!

Moomina Mon 07-Feb-05 16:12:26 might also have some useful info.

SamCattie Thu 10-Feb-05 08:29:09

Just came across this thread by accident. I asked my midwife I could decide what hospital I could go to, and she said no as I am under the district for MAyday. I wasn't very happy as I wanted to go to Kings. I think Mayday has got a lot better now since the refurb, and I am DEF going to pay for a private room....I think if you are really not happy, you can persuade your midwife.

spiker Sat 12-Mar-05 14:27:55

I guess this thread might have died, but in case anybody's still watching...I had exactly the same thing happen to me. I live on boundary of Croydon/Lambeth so Mayday was wildly inconvenient for ante-natal care for me, plus I had heard it wasn't too good - I wanted to go to Kings. However it is up to Croydon PCT to purchase/commission care and they have a very funny attitude about sending everybody to Mayday (not just for obstetrics either). Other PCTs usually let GPs give women a choice of 3-5 hospitals. Current situ is that although government guidance is to offer women a choice, it is up to PCT. This will change in 2006 when all patients must be offered a choice of hospital (and Croydon PCT will no doubt implode). Meanwhile, your GP would have to write to PCT putting your case to go elsewhere. A friend of mine went to Mayday when she miscarried and was able to go to Kings next time round, because of the distressing association for her. I tried hassling the PCT (as did my GP) banging on about guidance and patient choice, but gave up because I wasn't well during my first trimester and fighting was too stressful. I planned a homebirth but was rushed to Mayday as the midwife couldn't find baby's heartbeat. However baby was fine and I was happy with the care in the delivery unit, but post-natal ward was awful. No private rooms were available. I agree with all the other views expressed in this thread (except Moomina - I don't think you do have a right to refuse a hospital for any/no reason, but anyhow she's certainly correct that you'll find it hard to exercise this right if it exists!). Julie/SamCattie I'd love to know how you get on.

snafu Sat 12-Mar-05 15:42:10

"All women should be involved in planning their own care with information, advice and support from professionals, including choosing the place they would like to give birth..."

National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, pg 5. Department of Health 14/9/2004

Hi spiker - moomina here The point I was trying to make is that there is no law that says you must have your baby in your local hospital. It is (supposed to be) the woman's choice where she has her baby. Therefore - in theory (very important phrase when dealing with the maternity services!) - you can refuse to have a baby at Mayday simply on the basis that you don't like Mayday - in theory. My bf was told that she had to go to the Royal London, for example, She visited it, didn't like it, and refused. She was referred to the Homerton and iirc it wasn't too much of a hassle. This was for a first baby too, so no 'bad associations' - she just didn't like the maternity unit.

However, it is, as you found, hugely dependent on the willingness of your PCT to work in a woman-centred fashion - hahahahahaha - excuse my cynicism. All too often accessing appropriate maternity care is like wading through treacle and I guess the fact is that some women will find themselves banging their heads against a brick wall. Hopefully, the NSF will go some way to changing this, and by the time I qualify as a midwife in 2008 women will no longer have to fight their PCTs for this basic right - but I won't hold my breath!

But I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that they don't have the right (again, in theory!) to have their baby anywhere they damn well please, because that simply isn't true. The good old NHS can make it very difficult for you to exercise that right, but is your right nevertheless. I would urge anyone having this sort of dilemma to contact the ARM and have a look at the birthchoice website - both are really good sources of information and support.

Blossomhill Sat 12-Mar-05 17:19:20

Had both of mine at St Helier in Carshalton. Was very happy with the care given there

steph0905 Mon 22-Jan-07 11:37:10


I have just come across this site by accident, I am 8 weeks pregnant and come under the 'Croydon' area though i do not want to have my baby in Mayday. When i had my 1st antinatel app, i was told that i had to as i live in that catchment area.

Does anyone know the best thing to do, i believe as a mum to be, i should be able to decide where i have my baby...

boobunny Wed 24-Jan-07 22:23:11

Hi steph0905, Im new to this site too. Im just 17 weeks and have also been told that i have to go to Mayday. I'v been reading these threads and it looks as though there isnt realy much we can do, other than ask your GP if they can wright a letter to the Croydon PCT. Im going to do that as well as looking at a privat room as i think it might be worth the money, lol. But if you find out any other information i would love it if you could pass it on. Many thanks and good luck, Safia xx

Taichimum Fri 26-Jan-07 17:11:13

Steph and Boobunny
I had planned a homebirth for my DS because I did not want to go to Mayday, but waters broke and was forced to go to Mayday after three days due to risk of infection as I did not go into labour. I was then induced and I'll skip the details but ended up having a c -section. The midwifery I received at Mayday during this time was worse than i ever could have imagined and was traumatised for many months after.
When I was recently pg again (unfortunately had a mc) I straight away started investigating my options. It seems to be a myth that you have a right to choose. Not in Croydon you don't anyway. I got a 'no' to a home birth because of c-section, 'no' to Mayday Birth Centre for same reason, 'no' to going to Kings instead (my experience was not 'traumatic enough' according to my GP for hospital to accept as a reason and I had not put in a complaint to Mayday after the birth which would not go in my favour).
It seemed I had zilch options in the end and had decided that a planned C-section at Mayday was the only way I could guarantee a repeat performance of the appalling midwifery would not happen.
However, I have heard from midwife that since I had DS who is now 21 months, things have improved a lot there and they are not short staffed any more and have less agency staff. Also, the new Birth Centre looks great and is a really good option for you guys if you have straight forward pregnancies and have to go to Mayday. It is midwife led and a new build.
My advice, for what it is worth, would be to seriously consider a home birth. When I planned mine, the Mayday community midwives were very supportive and I think it would have been really good had things gone as planned. One outspoken midwife said a home birth was better than being at Mayday by miles! You get two very experienced midwives just for you, which is seriously worth considering when in hospital you get midwife russian roulette.
Good luck to you both. I hope to get pg again soon, so will be in the same situation as you guys and will keep my eye on this thread.

peachygirl Fri 26-Jan-07 17:20:05

I'm due in about 4 weeks and going to mayday so far I've not heard lots of bad things about the place and my friend has just had a baby there she started in the birth centre and ended up having a c section but has said she could not fault the staff.
The birth centre is lovely - go and have a look at the care there seem to be good too I've only had aan antenatal and may not use it as baby is breech. It is midwife led and one MW will stay with you throughout your labour. The beds have a pullout part for your DH/DP to stay and the decor is lovely with dimmer switches and 3 birth pools. BUT you have to be low risk. I have also been to have a look round the ward and was quite impressed with the cleanliness and mayday does well in the statistics 70% of the births there have no interventions - Look on Dr Foster website.
I'm sorry to hear taichimum you had such a bad experience.

Taichimum Sun 28-Jan-07 12:14:55

Glad to hear Birth centre is so good. I had heard it was. It is a shame I won't be able to use it. Also glad to hear the improvements midwife told me about seem to have happened on main ward. It is good to know as I will defo be there at some point. Wish you all the best for your birth. I am sure my experience is a thing of the past and does not represent current practice.

SoupDragon Sun 28-Jan-07 12:20:29

Oooh, I didn't know Mayday had a Birth Centre...

I had DS1 & 2 (7 and 5 now) there and it was fine. Had DD at home last year though so can't comment on what it's like now.

Depending where you are in the borough, you can go to East Surrey or St Helier. IIRC, it is notoriously difficult to get "permission" to go anywher eother than Mayday from Croydon though. A friend was told by her GP, however, that when you go into labour you can simply turn up at whatever hospital you want to give birth at because you were "staying with friends". If you're in established labour, they're not going to make you go elsewhere.

SoupDragon Sun 28-Jan-07 12:21:52

A private room is the way to go at Mayday though. Both times I managed to get one with my own toilet too. However, with a private room, you can get "forgotten" by staff because you're not in sight IYSWIM.

jmjm Mon 29-Jan-07 11:15:54


Just to let you know that my GP is in Croydon - admitedly South Croydon and I live in Bastead and Reigate - but I am expecting my second child and went to my Croydon GP and asked to give birth at East Surrey and to have my nuchal/cvs at Kings and sure enough the appointments turned up in the post a couple of days later so it is possible for Croydon GPs to refer you to East Surrey, don't let them tell you otherwise. Also, the others in my local NCT group who actually live in South Croydon rather than Surrey and gave birth at Mayday last time have all managed to go to East Surrey or Epsom for their second ones (three of them so far). Apparently they had to go in crying and wailing about how traumatic it was at Mayday etc but all managed it.

I have heard mixed reports from Mayday - theirs were all certainly very negative, though to be fair our babies were all born over Xmas/New Year which is when the NHS maternity services seems to be at an all time low - so I am going to give E Surrey a go where I have heard quite a lot of good reports - or go private if it gets too bad.

I warn you though, being a Croydon - Surrey defector does couse confusion - I now have been sent appointments for 12 week scans at Kings, East Surrey and Mayday!!

Hanifah Sun 04-Feb-07 16:48:07

Hi im almost 35 wks pregnant and having my first baby. Im 2 deliver in mayday. I havent had any complications with the baby except that his head became engaged over a week ago when i wasnt yet 34 weeks...Ive been to the labor ward there twice,once when i was 20something weeks bcos i couldnt feel the baby move for over 24 hrs and the other a few days ago when i thought my waters were leaking, there didnt seem to be much staff on but to be fair I think I received great treatment from the midwives and the labor room itself was great. A doctor came to check my waters hadnt broken and they gave me an appointment the following day to go to the foetal assessment unit,just incase. There they monitored the baby once again and were very thorough. Ive heard a lot about the postnatal wards but I think its the same everywhere nowadays(as my sister had her baby in Dublin and went totally private) I think it just depends on the midwives on duty and that can be fluke no matter what hosp ur hopefully the stories are just horror stories. My brother inlaw also worked in the maternity wards and said theyre excellent(compared to other wards hes done training on) ANYONE ELSE DUE THEIR BABY SOON? I think(and hope)ive only got 2-3 wks left at most...anyone else due to have their baby soon in Mayday????

peachygirl Sun 04-Feb-07 17:55:43

hanifah I'm now having a C section at mayday on the 15th Feb as baby was found to be breech and they couldn't turn her by ECV. When I went in for that they were lovely. Are you on an antenatal thread ? do join the feb one of you are due then thats where I am.

oxocube Sun 04-Feb-07 18:45:59

Have only read OP but when I was PG with ds1, we lived in South Croydon. I was booked for Mayday but at about 36 weeks, told my GP I wanted a homebirth. Had never really planned to go to hospital TBH, but DH was against the homebirth plan so I humoured him til the last possible moment. Homebirth was great and would thoroughly recommend. A friend at the time, also in S Croydon bordering Purley, went to Redhill and she really liked it there. HTH

Taichimum Tue 06-Feb-07 10:55:15

My doctor has just told me she will write a letter to Mayday asking for me to transfer to Kings. She was very supportive and feels sure it will be excepted.
I take it all back- maybe it is possible!

Hanifah Mon 12-Feb-07 20:34:33

Hi peachygirl, is this ur first baby?Good luck on thurs, will b thinkin of u. My due date is actually March 14th but I really think (and hope) baby will come least in Feb, im 36 wks at the mo...amnt part of thread...theyre just so long lol. Anyway best wishes with the baby what part of Croydn u in?

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