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250 quid newborn check at Portland

(36 Posts)
mumtojohn Wed 22-Sep-10 20:45:50

I am lucky enough to be able to claim my c section privately at the Portland in London (baby will actually delivered by a consultant from my local NHS hospital, who works for both the NHS and the Portland privately, which is reassuring).

I have been told there will be a cost I need to meet myself, which is a consultant check of my newborn before going home. I am not clear whether this is something the NHS do for free (and therefore I do need to pay the Portland to do it) or whether it is a private hosipital extra that is a bit bells and whistles.

Ultimately, I am happy to pay for a bit of extra piece of mind, but I wondered if any other MNers have had this experience.

gasman Wed 22-Sep-10 22:01:18

All babies get a baby check after birth on the NHS.

Although to be honest on the NHS it's likely to be done by either a nurse/midwife with specialist training or a junior doctor NOT a Consultant.

If you were going to be really cheeky GPs often do baby checks for home birth type babies but it really should be done in the first 24hrs and I don't think you'll be home then after an elective LSCS.

BagofHolly Wed 22-Sep-10 22:09:33

I had my baby at the Portland and didn't ahve the newborn check as it seemed like a pointless extra, especially as he'd been watched and assessed loads in the few nights he spent in SCBU. I was also offered a newborn hearing check which I didn't bother with either. My NHS midwife checked him thoroughly as well when we got home.

We got stung for a bill for the nursery - you can ask for them to take the baby off to the nursery for a little while if you need a sleep/break but it's v expensive and they seemed to charge every time they left the room with him, rather than for the time they had him. I think it was £120 a go, whether it was for 20 mins for a shower or a 3 hour kip. Be warned! Our insurer didn't cover that as it was an extra.

yummypopcorn Wed 22-Sep-10 22:17:21

BagofHolly why didn't you have the hearing test?

BagofHolly Wed 22-Sep-10 22:24:11

We were going to, but then he was in SCBU for a bit and then by the time he was back with me, we were trying to get BF sorted, I was stressed and it seemed as though my room was constantly interrupted. The audiologist wouldn't make an appointment as such, she just wanted to pop in and I wanted to rest and bond, and decided to just go with the NHS one which everyone gets. I don't think it was a huge test, either, I don't think it was particularly indepth, it just seemed like another extra. My local NHS gives a more indepth test to ex SCBU babies anyway so I was happy with that.
What made you ask?

yummypopcorn Wed 22-Sep-10 22:29:14

Oh just interested as my close friend found out her baby was partially deaf after having the test. I just remember thinking when my LO's were born that I really wanted them to have the test. Sounds like you had a real time of it! You should have used our lovely local hospital, had my own room, loads of support on SCUB and didn't pay a penny!

wakeupeverybody Wed 22-Sep-10 22:30:19

The newborn check is a routine thing you woudl be offered on the NHS- for example, listening for a heart murmur, checking pulses, checking hips, eyes, that kind of thing. It is the same as what is done at the 6-8 week check- but the point is that by doing it soon after birth, some important things might get picked up that could be actioned before the 6 week check. You would also be offered a newborn hearing check on the NHS, this has replaced the screening that used to be done at 8 months.
The hearing test can be done at any point, so I am sure you could get referred for that once you are home, the newborn check is usually done whilst you are in hospital (AFTER 24 hours, but before 72 hours), or you go to your GP if you had them at home or in a midwife lead unit. Your GP might be happy to do it if you were home very soon (doubtful after a section) or some NHS midwives have had extra training for it.

So, no, it isn't the Portland trying to offer something unnecessary but I wish I got paid £250 for each one I did (am but a humble GP!)

BagofHolly Wed 22-Sep-10 22:33:25

Yummypopcorn, your experience sounds lovely! Where did you have your baby?

mumtojohn Thu 23-Sep-10 10:56:49

Bagofholly - VERY useful to know re nursery! I was kind of relying on that as something I could use if I wanted a snooze.

Did they not make it clear from the off there is a charge? 120 quid a go, esp regardless of time spent, is LOADS.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I am happy to pay for the check but the nursery time thing sounds bleeding outrageous.

Still, not sure what I expected and fair enough BUPA don't want to shell out!

bellasmama Thu 23-Sep-10 11:34:23

When I had my DS at the Portland I didnt pay extra for the new born check by a consultant nor the nursery. The only things that were extra were swabs taken from him due to me being a strep b carrier.

mumtojohn Fri 24-Sep-10 12:38:19

Thanks bellasmama

I asked my consultant's PA and she didn't think it would be charged either but good to have it on the radar that it might be.

I;m also a GBS carrier but as DC will be born by section not sure it matters so much. Still, I will make sure they know.

owlicecream Fri 24-Sep-10 17:18:54

I've shelled out both times for the consultant paed to look over the baby at C&W Kensington. I don't know what happens on the NHS ward though, sorry.

QTPie Sat 25-Sep-10 19:27:35


what policy do you have with BUPA? Is it a "BUPA International" policy or a standard (UK) BUPA policy?


mumtojohn Mon 27-Sep-10 14:09:33

QT - I am not sure! I would say it is standard.

I'm still convinced it will all fall through and I'll be roughing it at Homerton Hospital in Hackney!

Still, have to keep reminding myself that all I ever wanted was an ELCS at the Homerton so all this Portland stuff is a big bonus.

FannyBrawne Mon 27-Sep-10 14:30:03

I had DS at Portland in 2009.

ELCS, no complications. I stayed in for 5 days (to get BF established, and was having a nice time...)

Consultant paed came to see DS every day; DS also had the hearing test, and I used the nursery.

My insurance (non-BUPA) covered everything - so very much depends on the precise terms of your insurance policy.

One tip - if you want to BF, then ask if you can see the special BF midwife..she was great and had some good advice.

Enjoy having your Portland baby!

QTPie Mon 27-Sep-10 17:37:11


check EXACTLY what bupa will cover you for at the Portland and make sure that you are happy with the shortfall that you will have to pay.

I had bupa (standard) insurance and they covered relatively very little of my private ELCS costs... I was at J&L (but shouldn't be hugely different to Portland for cost and coverage) and bupa gave me about £3800 towards the £15k costs (basic antenatal, ELCS and one night inpatient is a bit over £9k at J&L). We were prepared to pay private anyway (ELCS was only confirmed at 36 weeks because of breech - up until that point we were completely self-funded), if we hadn't the costs would have been a bit of a shock...

Also bupa and my Consultant's secretary couldn't get it together to get approval before the op (despite having 3 weeks). Getting bupa to pay retrospectively was like extracting blood from a stone: it took 3 months and an awful lot of phonecalls


mumtojohn Tue 28-Sep-10 11:23:58

QT - what a nightmare! I will have the baby at the Homerton and cancel the Portland c section if I don't get the authorisation code from BUPA in time. A stress I don't need and I also have a c section booked at the Homerton.

All my antenatal is NHS and I haven't actually even been to the Portland yet, and won't until the day of the op, because the Consultant who is doing it is based at my local Hackney hpsital, so I have just seen her there. I like it this way as they haven't actually got anything to hit with me should things go tits up with Bupa.

You are right to urge caution as I would be quite screwed if I had to shell out more than about 500 quid. When I get the authorisation code I will know what is what but Consultant's seccie has assured me it would only be the new baby check and a shortfall of about £300 for the anaesthetist.

Any doubt in my mind about costs though and it is back to the Homerton!

seeker Tue 28-Sep-10 11:31:51

Oh, for crying out loud - you don;t need a consultant to do "new born" checks. No wonder there are massive waiting lists at NHS hospitals if the consultant are all charging 250 quid a go to look at a new born baby and say "Yep - that's a baby. And Oh look, had you noticed it's a girl?"

QTPie Tue 28-Sep-10 15:28:22

Mumtojohn, that sounds ideal - you have everything optimised and well planned (i.e. back-ups etc).

Go for it, but keep on top of bupa (I left bupa after my experience with them and am now with Pruhealth... Coverga eis better and it is cheaper).

Check what accomodation is covered too - get it all tied up - but you should be fine


IngridFletcher Tue 28-Sep-10 15:35:03

I cannot believe firstly that a consultant does the newborn check and that they charge £250 for it! It is an excuse to get another wad of cash from you. On the NHS it takes about 10 mins.

mumtojohn Wed 29-Sep-10 14:06:23

Apparently it is something that the NHS don't do to the same degree(or certainly don't via a paediatric consultant - according to a GP on here who posted a reply to the original question).

But yes agree that £250 probably isn't a true representation of the actual cost of doing it!

I'll do it though if that is the only extra cost; last time, with DC1, at the Homerton I was driven nearly insane by 24 hour strip lighting, countless numbers of other people's visitors at 2am (no regard for visiting hours and no midwife stopping them) and one uncomfy chair for my own visitors. It was a 3 night stay though over Christmas, which probably made it that bit more depressing and stressful.

I'll do anything for some kip!

seeker Wed 29-Sep-10 15:37:04

But it is completely insane to want a paediatric consultant to do a check on a newborn! Honestly - they've got better things to do - or at least, they should have.

mumtojohn Thu 30-Sep-10 21:06:45

seeker, not a case for me of wanting (or not wanting) a paed consultant to do this check. My question initially was just if there is a point in having it, and what other MNetters experiences of this at the Portland were.

I've since learned that they (the Portland)now do this check (and charge for it, and you can't claim it) as standard (i.e. you have to have it and pay for it).

If that is the total cost to me of having my own room and getting some decent grub and kip before getting home, then it is pretty reasonable. And the check itself will be a nice bit of added reassurance for a born worrier.

QTPie Thu 30-Sep-10 21:53:47

It was compulsory at J&L too, the check was very quick, but we ended up having DS probably checked over - by a paed consultant - once a day (minor jaundice, post CS snuffliness etc). He just seemed to get routinely checked over each day (although we were only charged once): it was very nice really (we are first time parents). It maybe completely OTT, but....

(we also paid for a private, thorough paed check at 6 weeks - same time I had my 6 week check - for reassurance... Yes DS had a check with the GP, but - by his own admission - he doesn't do them very often at all...).


starchildmum Tue 23-Aug-11 18:14:32

I am always shocked to hear what the NHS doesn't do.

For me ( not born in the uk) it is quite normal to think that any pregnancy is monitored by a specialist doctor who is also delivering the baby, that the newborn is checked properly from A-Z when it is born and that it's your choice of what and where you what to have all tests and check-ups to take place. Obviously this only goes when you go through a private insurance. I find it however incomprehensible some private insurances do not cover everything and that it seems to be a fight every time to ensure financial support. I believe it a matter to find the RIGHT private insurance to have peace of mind. I have got a private insurance which covers everything and I am very happy (its however very expensive too.)

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