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st.thomas's or Kingston?

(9 Posts)
siobhanh Tue 16-Aug-11 15:52:06


I'm due to give birth at St.Thomas's in 11 weeks but have moved to Surbiton since then, so will be close to Kingston. Does anyone know which hospital would be the best option? I know St. Thomas's is a great hospital, but I'm wondering if it will be too far away ( depending on time of day, it could take 45 mins or more to get there). I have read a lot of negative comments on Kingston, which surprised me.

Anyone any thoughts?

lala21 Tue 16-Aug-11 20:45:05

Hello there
Firstly congratulations how exciting.
This is really long but many of the things happened at both hospitals but its the difference in care.
I wanted to reply as I had my DS at st. thomas' in jan 2009 and then my DD feb this year at Kingston.

Before I begin I would say that your best bet is probably Kingston as you are so close. We lived literally 5 minutes away from St thomas and they kept sending me home think of that in the back of your mind too.

St thomas's is a teaching hospital so its large, very busy and hectic. My personal experience is as follows:

I went into labour and was on the home from home, birthing pool, no pain relief, same midwife throughout. start to finish it was 15 hrs.

That part of St.thomas' was incredible and had things developed normally I think it would have been fine.

Admittedly I was rushed in to theatre but it was too late for e c section, so you can imagine.. anyway DS was born.

This part of the care was great.
I think loads of mums have said how the after care is awful on post natal wards across london.

If you can go home as soon as great. I was in a week, and the care was shocking
Anyway we put in a formal complaint etc.

Kingston - As a result of the mistake at St.thomas's ( only found out when I demanded my notes this time round) I was seen my a consultant and not allowed to birth on the home from home unit.

Labour was 5 1/2 hrs and I was monitored throughout not allowed to walk around ( found out my pre eclapsia had not been picked up at st thomas and so as a result DS went into distress lost his heart beat etc. ANd more

I was told at st thomas I could not get pain relief apart from paracetamol ( but at the time the contractions were manageable so i did not require anything else)

At kingston because the pre pre-eclampsia was picked up and I was being monitored I had 2 epidurals etc to maintain and help with BP.

Sorry this is the important bit

At Kingston they had no bed for me in the post natal ward so they made a bedroom up for me in a room on the delivery suite, I was physically given a wash ( even though with my son at st.thomas' my scars were so bad and blood loss high i'd been told not to walk by the doc who delivered my ds, midwife told me my hubby would have to wash me in the bathroom that was already blood stained..)

They dressed my daughter at kingston even though I could have but the midwife said no she'd would do it as I was still shaky. ( I was told at st. thomas not to be so stupid i'm a mum now eh both arms had drips in them etc)

At St thomas's you had to walk and get your breakfast, etc so too at kingston but when I fainted at st. thomas they told me I should wait until my husband could come and give it to me.

The same thing happened at kingston and the midwife took up my cause and demanded a bed be found as I was not well enough to be on a make shift ward as I needed greater care. And then got told to stay in bed and rest, i did not mind this at all the fact that they cared enough in the middle of all the deliveries. They checked up on me all the time. I had the manager come and ask if I was being looked after and was very apologetic about it. My room was immaculate, everything was clean and cleaned regularly.

My son was born with tongue tie at the time I assumed he was fine with BF, anyway 3 days later he was put into Special Baby Unit and tube fed formula.
This was despite me explaining to the midwives there was a problem.

Within hours of DD being born I knew there was a problem with BF, they gave her some formula and but then supported me throughout with my attempt to BF they did not judge and I went onto BF for 3 months.

Basically what I am trying to say is its hit and miss, friends I know at st.thomas have had a difficult time but they have been high risk pregnancies. So its been all sorts of health issues etc. I had an episiotomy, 3rd degree tear and DS was a ventouse.

I was so scared after what happened at st thomas about giving birth that when I had my appointment with my midwife with the kingston team, I broke down and demanded I see a consulatant to talk through what happened.

The care I received in what was a more medical birth because I went on to have placenta preva ( sorry for spelling) was incredible at Kingston.

However I was in the waiting room and speaking to a mum who'd had her 3rd at kingston and she said the care was bad.

In the end I would say have your wits about you, make sure you birth partner is nearby always, and that your family are nearby.

If both hospitals were as bad as each other I'd want to be nearer, remember in the middle of the night it can take 30-40 minutes to st.thomas' during the day even longer I do that drive as mum still lives near there and i live in Ham.

A friend of mine had her daughter 3 months ago at Kingston and she had the all singing all dancing natural amazing birth home that day. Said it was great. Another mum i know had her first at kings( we were transferred there) which she said was traumatic and her son who is 8 months at kingston ans could not believe the difference.

It could still be a hard experience at kingston you never know what will happen you have to go in with blind faith.
However they deal with the big emergencies, they deal with the natural etc proximity to hospital is really important.

Also St thomas maternity unit is on the 8th floor Kingston has its own separate entrance.

I had a mc before my Ds was born and I spent a week and had a dc at st. thomas' on the early pregnancy unit. The care was world class and having heard all the amazing stories about st thomas' I never thought i'd feel so let down.

My sis has just started her nursing training and spent 6 weeks at st. thomas' and told me that they had major changes, maybe you could go and visit and see how you feel about it.

So sorry this is so long OMG its really long does it help. Sorry

MrsHoolie Tue 16-Aug-11 21:18:35

Personally I would go to the nearest hospital (unless completely horrendous).
The thought of trying to get from surbiton to St Thomas's in labour would worry me I think.
Also if you were in for any time after (I was in for a week) then it will be helpful for your partner to not live too far.
My Mum did her midwifery training at Kingston 40 years ago grin

siobhanh Wed 17-Aug-11 11:04:50

Thanks so much for the feedback guys.

Lala it was really long but really really helpful grin - I want all the info I can get! It is my first baby so I am a novice and have no idea what is involved. As you say, both hospitals have their good and bad points, so maybe convenience is the best option after all.

Haberdashery Wed 17-Aug-11 11:19:08

I gave birth at Kingston (MLU) and found it really excellent. Maybe ask if you could meet a member of the midwife team there if you have any specific questions?

siobhanh Wed 17-Aug-11 15:23:40

Thanks, I don't have any specific questions just wanted to know it was generally a good hospital really.

lala21 Wed 17-Aug-11 17:03:27

So sorry you must have fallen asleep reading it or lost the will to live...

First time round its always nerve racking but ditto what others have said I
can't emphasise being near the hospital enough just in terms of getting things, transport, etc

Good luck ooooooooooowwwww its exciting x x x

siobhanh Thu 18-Aug-11 11:37:18

thanks lala!!! grin

Freshermums Sat 10-Feb-18 08:43:11

At least you got all this for free

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