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Hospital Choice - Kingston, Epsom or St Helier - any views please

(11 Posts)
WhenDoISleep Sun 14-Aug-11 11:45:49

I have just found out that I am pregnant with DC2. DC1 was a planned home birth (If I had had to go to hospital, it would have been St Thomas', London).

We have moved since DC1 was born, and this time have the option of Kingston, Epsom or St Helier hospitals or a home birth.

Has anyone given birth in any of those hospitals recently and would give some feedback? I am still mulling over another home birth, but am not ruling out going to hospital this time.

Zimbah Sun 14-Aug-11 21:03:32

I gave birth in Epsom three months ago. I had a good experience, the midwife I had was great (although the first one I had very briefly before shift change wasn't so good, I was having a VBAC and she was trying to push CFM despite me not wanting it). Ended up in surgery afterwards for third degree tear and that experience was as good as it could be in the circumstances - I was really really scared and all the doctors, anaesthetist etc were very kind. Afterwards in recovery midwives were again great. We then paid for a private room (£150 a night, gulp) purely for the peace and quiet and extra space. Post natal midwives were variable, some were crap (but not abusive, just not very helpful) and a couple in particular were amazing. Epsom have recently recruited some ex-independent midwives to promote natural birth, I had a lovely long chat with one of them.

I had DD1 in Kingston a couple of years ago, ELCS for breech. That was fine but I found the staff in theatre a lot less friendly than at Epsom - not unfriendly as such, but not as nice an atmosphere. Postnatal was quite varied, a few lovely midwives and a few not very nice ones.

EDD24may Sun 14-Aug-11 21:12:48

Another vote for Epsom. I had horrid birth but was looked after v well and experience was as good as it could have been as mother nature had it in for me. 3 days on labour ward...great care and supportive midwives on ward after and lovely hcas who helped with breast feeding.doctors were competent,calm and saved our lives.what more can you ask? Private room v worth it to get sleep! You could ask for a tour to help.

yummytummy Sun 14-Aug-11 21:26:57

hiya, my sil just had her little boy 3 days ago in st heliers and loved it! said the mw's were all really helpful and friendly. also ward wasnt that busy. think its generally a good hospital. second idea of touring all hospitals u interested in!

WhenDoISleep Sun 14-Aug-11 22:46:11

Thanks for all the feedback you have posted so far.

first1 Mon 15-Aug-11 07:06:29

I went to Kingston. Hated it:

At both 40+6 and 40+7 I went to the day assessment unit as babys movements had slowed they did very little to reassure me. At 40+9 when it happened again they very reluctantly agreed to induce me then rather than wait another few days.

Induction started at 2pm for first pessary. Second pessary at 10pm which kicked in instantly. I was left crying in pain by myself as DH wasn't allowed to be with me for the induction stage. Despite ringing the bell for pain relief for hours I was left until 6am for someone to administer pethidine relief as they'd been too busy.

8am moved to labour ward where DH came. The Mw on that shift was great, she left at 3 coz she had to take her daughter somewhere so got a crap midwife. I got urge to push when I was 8cm but she said I could push anyway. Didn't tell me to pant at all so I sustained a third degree tear and then mrop and pph.

After being stitched up in theatre at 10pm I was allowed to stay in hospital 27hours before me, baby and DH being discharged at 1 in the morning.

My stitching was crap as it never healed, noone listened. So went privately to have it restitched. The surgeon who did it also practices as an nhs consultant at st georges where I've also seen her there. I'd never go back to Kingston in a heart beat. They are far too overstretched. ELCS for me at St Georges next time no question.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 15-Aug-11 07:27:20

Interested to hear recent reports from Epsom. I had an utterly shit experience there 4 years ago nearly. Am booked in for the new year and very worried about it. But as it's literally 5 minutes from me it seemed daft to go elsewhere. Sounds like they've improved a little. Of my many issues my main one was the horrible post natal 'care' and complete lack of bf instruction, never mind support.

Private room seems to be cheaper though. I paid £175 per night in 2008!

DdJames Mon 15-Aug-11 17:02:45

I highly recommend the birth centre at st Helier (I used to work there!) All being well you could aim for a quick discharge - avoiding the postnatal ward or the birth centre has one postnatal room. Epsom and St Helier are sister hospitals so if you book with one you can use either.
You can have a look at the birth centre - give them and ring a book a time that suits 020 8296 2050.

DdJames Mon 15-Aug-11 17:04:37

Should also say the community midwife team that do the home births at St Helier are lovely.

WhenDoISleep Mon 15-Aug-11 23:01:03

It's great to hear these experiences. I was edging towards deciding on a home birth or Kingston (Malden Suite) so it is great (and a little confusing) to hear positive stories about the other choices.

WorrisomeHeart Wed 17-Aug-11 13:25:06

I had DS at St Helier 9.5 months ago (where has the time gone!!). It was a varied experience. I went in for induction, which went haywire after 2 days meaning I was rushed to theatre after only being on the Labour Ward for a couple of hours. The care I got in the Mat Ward while being induced, on the Labour Ward and in Theatre was excellent - the mw's were very busy but still seemed in control of things. During the early stages (waiting for the labour to kick in) I didn't see many MW's, but I didn't really need to. When everything started going crazy they were present and amazing.
The PN care was patchy - my DS had to go to NNU at about 6 hours old, but I was left on a ward with 5 other women and their babies. I think if I'd pushed for a private room then I would have got one, but I wasn't really in the fit state to argue for it.
Some of the staff on the ward were amazing, some were average and all were overworked and stressed. The staff in the NNU were brilliant (although hopefully you won't have the chance to experience that!).
I will probably go back to St H when/if I have #2, but I'll try harder to get the private room this time.
Oh, I found that the St H community midwives were great mostly too.

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