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can you pay for a private cesarean in an NHS hospital?

(10 Posts)
hourglassindisguise Sun 09-Oct-11 20:59:13

I have searched the internet and am still without a decent answer so any help would be fab.

Can you pay for a private cesarean in a NHS hospital? If so, is it only in some hospitals or all of them?

I've found some private maternity units in London but I live in Southampton.

Many thanks for any help.

Nevercan Sun 09-Oct-11 21:15:40

I spoke to BUPA and the only place is London. There were some NHS hospitals elsewhere but BUPA only covered a small proportion of the cost which meant it was not feasible for me. I was also advised to contact your local hospital and ask if they have private rooms etc smile

Katiebeau Sun 09-Oct-11 21:33:42

Watford General - the BirthTeam.

QTPie Mon 10-Oct-11 19:04:42

And John Radcliffe, Oxford.

My suggestion is to search for private OBGYNs in your area and find out what private maternity services they may be able to offer. I don't think that you will get a "private CS", but you might be able to get a CS (ie your private OBGYN can refer you for a CS - if that makes sense. Depends what youare looking for and why.


hourglassindisguise Mon 10-Oct-11 19:13:16

Thanks for your replies.

I'm not certain I want a CS (huge fear of giving birth, no physical reasons for wanting one) but the thought of not even having the choice sends me into a panic. I'd happily pay privately just to access the choice of how to have my baby but am getting very confused as to whether this is possible in my area as I'm presuming a 2 hour car journey with a newborn and a CS wound is not an ideal situation.

Only just found out I'm pregnant so haven't spoken to Dr yet but would rather see GP with some knowledge about my options rather than being fobbed off from the outset.

I shall look into your suggestions, thank you

QTPie Mon 10-Oct-11 20:03:54


The two hour drive back - with a newborn - is definitely not the issue (the newborn will be ok in their infant carrier and is very very likely to sleep for the entire two hours). The issue would be going into labour befire the date of an ELCS (booked at a hospital 2 hours drive away): you may or may not find the two hour drive, during labour, possible.

I live in Bath, but gave birth in a private London hospital: I was so shocked at the reputation of our local hospital, that I chose to have private care from 14 weeks. I was planning on a natural birth, but DS was breech and I was booked for an ELCS.

We were lucky - we have family with a house in London and we went up and stayed there at 37 weeks (ELCS booked for 39w + 1d). Husband runs his own software company and could work remotely, but - if he hadn't have been able to - I would have gone up to London by myself (I was worried about going into labour prematurely).

In the end, I didn't go into labour, but delievered by ELCS (as planned) at 39w and 1d. Spent 5 nights in hospital, then 2 nights with the in-laws, then we drove home (DS slept all the way, we didn't stop during the two hours home) at one week old.

If you have family/relatives/friends in London/Watford/Oxford area, it may be an option? Still, see what you can get on the NHS first.


quietlyafraid Mon 10-Oct-11 20:35:19

New NICE guidelines are out next month. The draft says:

36. When a woman requests a CS because she has anxiety about childbirth, offer referral to a healthcare professional with expertise in providing perinatal mental health support to help her address her anxiety in a supportive manner.
38. For all women requesting a CS, if after discussion and offer of support (including perinatal mental health support for women with anxiety about childbirth), a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option, offer a planned CS.
39. An obstetrician has the right to decline a woman’s request for a CS. If this happens, they should refer the woman to an NHS obstetrician in the same unit who will carry out the CS.

Whether this will be in the final draft remains to be seen, but if it stay the same its in your favour. I'm sure if it does make the final cut, it will be well publicised as its somewhat controversial and goes against what some NHS Trusts are trying to do by banning maternal requests. Frankly this is political, ignorant and pandering to the tabloids. (The last list of trusts I saw with the ban were Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Herefordshire, Bristol, South Staffordshire, County Durham, Dorset, Derbyshire, North Yorkshire, Bournemouth and Poole but there may be more).

Fear of childbirth is legitimate. And it needs to be given much greater respect as it does have implications for the mental health and psychical health of both baby and mother. It is a mental health issue and if your fear is diagnosed as being serious, you do have a medical reason for having an elective, despite what other people might say.

My only cavet is to look at ALL your options before making a final decision. Elective might be the only way you can face it, but there are other options that could help you face a normal birth that you should consider first (doula, counselling, birth centre etc). Whatever you decide, make sure its right for you, and not what friends and family think is best. Its a subject that people are less than sensitive and understanding about...

Good luck!

hourglassindisguise Thu 13-Oct-11 14:14:16

thank you for such helpful replies. QT would you mind telling me which hospital you went to and which consultant? (please PM me if you'd rather)

quietlyafraid thank you for that info. i certainly agree fear of childbirth should be given more respect. ive managed to get a bit more in control of my unhelpful thoughts about birth (i would undoubtedly have had an abortion if i had become pregnant a couple of years ago, despite wanting a baby, as that would have seemed the less horrific thing to go through at the time) so that now i feel i can get through pregnancy without having a total meltdown. anything i can do to give me a bit more control will help massively i think hence my original question.

I'm going to look up doulas too, anything that could give a sense of continuity and support will help enormously smile

fruitybread Thu 13-Oct-11 17:15:08

hourglass, if it helps at all - I had a CS on the NHS for my 1st DC, because of birth phobia. It was a bit of a long journey (involved perinatal psychiatric team - you can't just diagnose yourself and tell them, you have to be diagnosed, IYSWIM) -

But it was nearly all fine (one vile anaesthetist aside), with MW being supportive and considerate etc. The CS was totally fine, a wonderful birth, recovery was swift, and DS was exclusively BF-ed, so it went very well.

Attitudes towards CS seem to vary hugely from one trust to another, as others have said. And from consultant to consultant. I'd like to think the new NICE guidelines will be passed and published, and that they will make a real difference - but as they are only guidelines, hospitals are basically free to ignore them if they want.

I would not have had the option of a private CS - none available in Wales, even if I could have afforded it.

So I had avery positive experience of a NHS elcs for tokophobia - but I was very lucky to have HCPs who listened to me and took me seriously. Sadly not every birth phobic gets this - it is a mental health issue, and should be taken very seriously, but there's a lot of misunderstanding out there. People can be very dismissive.

Let me know if there's anything you'd like to ask. Good luck.

QTPie Thu 13-Oct-11 20:32:05

Hi hourglassindisguise

I had DS in John & Lizzies (maternity now closed sad ) with Miss Gubby Ayida in Jan 2010. Gubby also practices at C&W and The Portland.

If I do conceive again (hope to try early 2012), I will have private maternity care in London again: the MUCH more civilised experience was well worth the hassle.... Next time I will most likely go for either the Lindo Wing or The Portland - both close to the in-law's house in St Johns Wood.


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