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Kings Hospital - Camberwell - advice

(17 Posts)
k4mi Wed 22-Jun-11 18:50:12

Hi all,

I'm 10wks pregnant today. Last week at my doctors appointment I was asked to choose where i want to give birth. I have been given no info about the options (live in Herne Hill, London) but was told very matter of factly it's Kings, St Thomas' or a birthing centre.
This is my first baby and so i really had no idea what to ask and just opted for the closest (Kings) because i have been there previously. What's the birthing centre option? The Dr gave me no advice / info at all and clearly just wanted to get a box ticked.

I know i could still change my mind but what sort of questions do i need to ask at my booking appointment next wk? Also does anyone have experience of Kings recently? If so how is it?



Bearcrumble Wed 22-Jun-11 20:42:55

King's has an extremely busy maternity unit, there are about 8 labour rooms, including three with tubs for water births. Four bed bays are the norm for pre and postnatal. It's noisy. The staff are under a lot of pressure but they are really good.

You can start at the birthing centre for a natural birth and if you then need more help (epidural, induction etc.) you can be transferred to the labour ward - think they are just in different bits of the building.

They have open evenings there weekly I think - you have a brief tour led by a member of staff. Give them a ring and find out when they are, I can't remember.

If you have a complicated pregnancy (touch wood you don't) and need lots of monitoring and scanning then King's is the best place to be. They have the best people, Prof Nicolaides runs the Harris Birthright Trust bit where they do all the scans.

I don't know much about St Thomas' but I'm sure other people will let you know.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 22-Jun-11 20:44:53

this website helps people has ratings and other advice. Good luck!

MrsHoolie Wed 22-Jun-11 23:49:09

I had DS at King's last year,they were fantastic.
I'm not aware that they have a birth centre though??St Thomas's and Lewisham do.
Tbh I would go with Kings as you are so close.

iskra Thu 23-Jun-11 00:14:18

If you might be interested in a homebirth, Kings have an excellent team called Brierly midwives.

Stangirl Thu 23-Jun-11 00:16:21

I had DD at Kings last year and will be having DS there shortly. They are world famous for their scanning and I found them very very amenable for a non-medical reason ELCS. The op was amazing but they have really shit post-natal ward (apparently - I ended up in the ante-natal as the post was full, the MWs and nurses in the ante-natal bit that I met were all idiots, unpleasant and not at all helpful).

StiffyByng Thu 23-Jun-11 11:09:25

I had a homebirth with community midwives and antenatal care at King's, and all were superb. The scanning and testing are world leading from what I know. The labour is very busy (and there is no birthing centre) but most people I know had decent experiences there.

You can book with King's and then choose to use the birthing centre at Lewisham if you want. It's brand new and amazing.

Do consider a homebirth if you haven't already. King's is a leader in this, with supportive consultants and dedicated teams.

ElectricSoftParade Thu 23-Jun-11 11:13:42

I had my DS at King's College and it was a great place with the most excellent care.

(I am slightly biased as we knew my DS needed surgery immediately after birth and we spent the next 9 months in the NICU).

MrsHoolie Thu 23-Jun-11 11:15:23

My experience of the post natal ward was very good. And I was in for a week as DS was in scbu.
I have heard some people have had a crappy experience though.
Lewisham was FAR worse!
Kings were very helpful with breastfeeding and 2 ladies their who can help you.

KateAdieLovelyLady Thu 23-Jun-11 11:19:54

I had my son at Kings last year (EMCS) and it's exactly where I'd want to be for anything at all emergency - staff are excellent. Agree though that the post natal wards aren't great, if you have to stay in for very long after.
Their antenatal scanning dept. is world class.
When we did a labour ward tour last year, they mentioned that they were building a new midwife-led birthing centre for low-risk births - think this should be ready about now, so worth checking out?
Am in HH too, OP! Wouldn't want to have risked getting to Thomas's in labour in heavy traffic when Kings is just down the road.

Bearcrumble Thu 23-Jun-11 11:24:13

I wouldn't go to Lewisham if you can have King's. It's not very well thought of.

eurochick Thu 23-Jun-11 12:44:01

My closest friend had a less positive experience at King's with her first. She was induced. They forgot to monitor her or give her the second set of induction drugs, so they told her they would have to start the whole process again. After a bit of a battle and a doctor friend getting involved, they got to see the consultant who told them there was around a 10% chance of her labouring naturally at this stage so after a bit of a battle she was given and ELCS. About 10 days later at home, she had a massive haemorrage and ended up back in hospital. Apparently they had messed something up during the CS and not opened her cervix so the lochia could drain away.

It didn't put her off and she went back there for her second (twin) pregnancy and had a better experience.

I spent some time there with her before each labour. It is a very busy hospital.

AmberLeaf Thu 23-Jun-11 12:45:58

Think its all down to personal experience, I like Lewisham and have heard from friends how wonderful their new birthing centre is.

Ive heard horror stories about Kings.

Ive read about bad experiences people had at Lewisham too!

Antenatel wards seem to be a bit hit and miss everywhere though, I think you will hear good and bad things about all hospitals, go on the tours and just see which one you like the feel of and which is more convenient for you location wise.

Lola10 Thu 23-Jun-11 13:48:11

I had a baby there 18 months ago, it was very busy. I had to wait for the bed but saying that I had a good experience overhaul.

The only bad experience it was after I was transferred to the ward, the midwifes are very patronizing, they know the best, no compassion what so ever.

There was a lady there with me, that had some complications with the baby after the birth, and had to stay longer. and the ladies in her room were very nasty to her because her baby was crying and they couldn't sleep (like you are in the hotel and you have all piece and quiet included in the price) so she was all the time on the corridor with the baby, none of the midwifes helped her just laughed that look at the first time mother how helpless he is. Midwifes there were very very nasty.

choccybox Thu 23-Jun-11 16:25:35

I gave birth at Kings five months ago and can't praise them enough.

I found them very forward thinking and enabled me to have the best birth I could. I was encouraged to stay mobile, had active birth, immediate skin to skin, great breastfeeding advice and quick discharge.

You should go and have a look around the unit to get a feel for it.

Sparklies Thu 23-Jun-11 18:42:31

The fetal medicine centre at Kings is probably one of the best if not THE best in the world and I would trust them utterly, which from me is saying something.

The consultant-led care I had there with high risk DC2 in 2008 was average, and often contradictory between the various registrars I saw which was irritating. Same thing happened when I delivered - one registrar said I didn't need to be induced, just observed overnight. He went off duty and the next one said I needed to be induced right that minute. You get the idea.

Some of the midwives were utterly lovely and wonderful, but many, especially at night, were mediocre and one regular midwife was a complete dragon who not only reduced me to tears but her mistake resulted in my EBF baby being fed formula angry instead of donor milk.

The delivery itself (failed induction -> EMCS) was great and I could not have been in better hands. I just wish I could have escaped the hellish postnatal ward sooner than the 3 nights I was stuck there. I'd been in antenatal for 5 nights previously and that was a bit better aside from the poor woman in transition most of the night (this is not quiet) begging for help and the "midwife" telling her not to be so stupid and to go to sleep hmm until they finally did bother checking her and me a lay person could have told them what they'd find.. baby crowning.

Having done Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich (even worse on postnatal - 3 nights there following a PPH - AVOID!!) and Chelsea and Westminster (by far the most superior on postnatal - 2 nights there with ELCS, no complaints) I'd say Kings was pretty average on average for a London postnatal unit. Excellent with the right staff, a nightmare with some of them.

eurochick Thu 23-Jun-11 23:28:13

My friend had quite an entertaining stay on the antenatal ward. The highlight was apparently some woman shouting (in the style of eastenders) "you better get dahn ere naaaaaw, I'm 10 metres dilated". Cue much giggling and visions of a woman with a fanjo of Blackwall Tunnel dimensions laying behind the closed curtain.... There was also what seemed to be a muslim second wife giving birth with the first wife coming to visit among other things. It was like trying to give birth in the middle of a soap opera!

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