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Whipps Cross vs Homerton, London hospitals

(32 Posts)
Shruggy Sun 23-Jun-13 13:12:51

Hi all,
I'm new here and just found out last week I'm around 5 weeks pregnant (first baby). Seeing my doctor again on Tuesday for my booking in appointment and am confused about which hospital in my area to go for.
Whipps Cross and Homerton both seem to have pros and cons.
Does anyone have any experiences to share? Good or bad would be massively appreciated.
Thanks x

janey1234 Sun 23-Jun-13 14:56:00

Hi shruggy,

I'm 38 weeks and have chosen Homerton, despite being in the whips cross "catchment area". I've heard good and bad about both, but on balance more good and less bad about homerton. I also used thus site to compare the two:

I found the statistics about the % of women who got the pain relief they chose pretty revealing, and the chances of one to one care. In addition, I have two paediatric consultants in the family both of which suggested homerton out of the two.

So far the care I have received has been amazing and I've been very, very pleased with my choice.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

janey1234 Sun 23-Jun-13 14:56:33

Hopefully this link will work

BangOn Sun 23-Jun-13 15:07:39

had a traumatic production-line birth at whipps, but that was 7 years ago, & i think they now have a mw-led birth unit, so that might help.

VioletStar Sun 23-Jun-13 15:13:11

Had both my DCs at Whipps (but youngest is nearly 9 now). Midwives fantastic. Can't say I noticed owt else! DS was a long labour and I had to be kept in after. Felt well cared for and they were really efficient but tbh I was more focussed on DS rather than anything else. DD was about an hour from arriving at hospital to delivery. Sooo glad we lived about 5 mins drive away. That could be a factor in deciding?
Don't know about Homerton, however, so this is one-sided comment. Good luck and hope all goes well.

Shruggy Sun 23-Jun-13 21:12:32

Thanks for the replies. I might try to do a look round both with my hubby I think before I make a final decision if that's allowed.

Never been in hospital in my life so I'm out of my comfort zone big time!

Will definitely look at that comparison link. Super helpful x

Newmama99 Mon 24-Jun-13 13:06:21

Hi Shruggy,

I had the most HORRENDOUS experience with Whipps Cross and will never ever ever recommend this hospital maternity unit to anyone!!!!!!

Some of the issues I had there are:

1. Level of professionalism varies hugely between the midwifes. One or two know they stuff, others just scared and made me feel very uncomfortable. One midwife told me that my waters broke, while the other thought it didn't happen. One midwife told me she could see baby poo, only to be contradicted by another midwife. One of the midwifes wrote notes regarding my monitoring on someone else's file and not mine. Luckily I saw her and told her. One midwife forgot to put in my file the medication I had during the night, so the following midwife from the next shift couldn't see how much I had and at what time.

2. Level of cleanliness. This was worst that a third world countries. I was appalled by it.

3. I had a private room after my emergency cesarienne, when the induction of labour failed. Needless to say, I had no privacy whatsoever and couldn't wait to get discharged and go home. 90% of the midwifes would just barge into my room instead of knocking at the door first. One told me she couldn't pick up one of my baby items which was in my bag because 'they were not allowed to take things out of patient's bags'. I just had a cesarienne and could not get out of bed properly without help...!!!

Midwifes would just call each other from the other side of the corridor and laugh out loud about their night out and other personal stories that I should not be hearing while in my room and the door being shut!! I got no rest. They didn't clean my room for 2 days, until I made the comment.

No one come to see me after my cesarienne to explain what caused me to have the emergency intervention. When I asked, no one was available, all the consultants were always busy with emergencies.

Oh, and my waters had broken for a little longer than 36h when I was finally transferred to the delivery room. I was 'reassured'!!!!!!! that they could give me antibiotics to prevent infections. But that was not the point!!! My baby and I were already in danger as the waters broke.

I was traumatised by my experience at Whipps Cross, and I could see other mums to be in exactely the same position as me in the ward.

It was dreadful, and I cannot think of a worse hospital in London to give birth. Don't go there!!!!

Newmama99 Mon 24-Jun-13 13:07:45

Forgot to add, my baby was born there 5 months ago.
By their own admission, the staff commented that they do not have enough staff, nor space...

Shruggy Mon 24-Jun-13 21:26:47

Oh my goodness Newmama99, that sounds horrendous. I'm so sorry to hear you went through such a traumatic time.
I was certainly veering more towards Homerton after seeing Janey1234's message and looking at the stats, but what you're reporting has made me even more determined.
I hope you and your baby are well now and that experience hasn't spoiled your early days of bonding.
Thank you so much for posting x

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 25-Jun-13 20:27:29

Sorry to hear of bad Whipps experiences.

I just delivered DD on Sat at Whipps and I had an excellent experience. I had a fab midwife with me throughout.

I had PPH previously and I felt like the preventative measures were dealt with very well and I didn't need another tranfusion.

I had 3rd degree tears (DD was 10lb!) but they were dealt with well etc.

The postnatal ward wasn't as good as it was busy....however the staff were all very nice and polite, things just took time.

I had DS there 5 years ago and I think it has improved a lot. The attitude of all staff was good, that wasn't the case back then.

Go with your instinct. Congrats on your pregnancy.

delasi Fri 28-Jun-13 22:48:45

Whipps has had recent investment apparently, though GP whilst pg (also works at Whipps in obstetrics) admitted that issues arise due to local factors (relatively high number of inter family relationships, mothers who don't attend antenatal appts so unknown risks, etc).

Fwiw I was 'offered' Homerton and Whipps based on location, I self-referred to UCH and it was fantastic, however I think Homerton is a good hospital and I know a lot of people with positive experiences there. But I was a nervous new mum with some medical issues and felt v comfortable with UCH!

tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 28-Jun-13 22:54:55


I had both mine at homerton, and I was very happy. The midwives were very kind and professional. You will hear good and bad about all hospitals ( especially the post natal wards!), I chose the most convenient location wise.

Newmama, sorry to hear of your experience, sounds awful sad

delasi Fri 28-Jun-13 23:00:32

PS what I meant is therefore mothers seen as low risk, eg educated, middle class, and/or generally aware of health issues, more likely to take charge of own self, read parenting sites etc are therefore pushed to one side a bit whilst they focus on high risks, unknowns and so on.

delasi Fri 28-Jun-13 23:02:37

PPS (!) I was discharged to community MW care postpartum and Homerton MWs were brilliant.

queenofthepirates Fri 28-Jun-13 23:09:15

I'm not in love with Whipps either, I delivered at Harlow but have a c-section issue so went by ambulance to Whipps. I had to really insist on getting the wound treated and dressed as they were going to leave it, gaping and open, then ask for antibiotics. It did not inspire confidence.
Check out this thread too

Oscalito Sat 29-Jun-13 02:24:11

Homerton was fantastic, the midwives throughout were fantastic, very kind and clear and professional. (postnatal not so great but never is, I suspect). My baby ended up being delivered by a consultant who was also great - if you do end up with the consultants they are also brilliant.

BangOn Sat 29-Jun-13 15:51:01

Just to elaborate on my Whipps X experience, i was 2 cm dilated upong entry. After 12 hrs of random midwives barging in, grabbing my arm, prodding my belly & leaving again, i was still at 2 cms.

I put this down to the following: dirty, dingy room in the bowels of the hospital; faceless, impersonal 'care', being forced into a freezing backless gown & onto a drip 'just in case'; being threatened with a c-section; being told i shouldn't make any noise; being denied anything but water & then surprise surprise ending up with keytones in urine... I could go on.

Oh, & after I'd pushed for two hours straight, on my back, with four people holding my legs up (really working with gravity!) & finally brought dd1 into the world) i was stitched up & left to sit amongst my own blood, swabs & surgical implements for hours.All i wanted was a clean place to lay & something hot to eat/drink. Neither were forthcoming at Whipps. What a lovely welcome for my pfb.

janey1234 Wed 03-Jul-13 16:42:25

Just to let you know, I hadn't elcs at Homerton on Friday. The whole experience made me incredibly happy with my decision to go there. The cs itself was easy, and all the staff in the theatre were amazing. Unfortunately my little boy developed breathing difficulties and had to be out on a ventilator in intensive care for a couple of days, where the staff were outstandingly. They gave my partner a family room overnight (free) so that he didn't have to go home, and offered me a side room (£70 a night) if I didn't want to be on the ward with everyone else. The care in NICU was amazing - there was a nurse sat at the end of his incubator watching just him all night. The postnatal ward wasn't quite as good as they're clearly over stretched, but this was only really an issue because of me; I quite often missed the drug rounds as I was off in NICU, and they were too busy to chase me up on them. All that meant was that I had to then ask them for my drugs when I did get back to the ward. One of the night staff there spent a couple if hours with me the night before we came home, showing me how to hand express and latch baby on properly etc - as a result he's feeding happily on me now as I type!
Anyway just thought I'd update you. I guess so much of your experience will be down to those individuals working on the day, but everyone we encountered was brilliant.
Good luck with your choice!

Frogcatcher Thu 04-Jul-13 12:49:49

I've moved from east London now so can't personally comment but a lot of my friends live there. None have chosen to have their babies at whipps cross even when it is by far the closest hospital to them. They have chosen Homerton or UCHL. I have heard great things about the birthing pool suite at Homerton too. I have had gynae treatment at whipps cross & was not impressed when I moved house & went for my follow up at a different hospital to be told that there was a problem that whipps cross had not identified 6m earlier.

Shruggy Thu 11-Jul-13 19:52:42

Thanks again ladies for all your comments. Homerton really is winning out here!
I have been poorly so my booking in appointment was delayed (all is well now - saw the heartbeat for the first time today on a scan). Went to Whipps A&E for convenience as it was the middle of the night but now I'm ready to go back to my GP to discuss where to have birth I'm going to take all your advise and go with Homerton.

PennieLane Thu 11-Jul-13 20:10:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Silver15 Fri 12-Jul-13 04:52:47

I was initially booked in at Whipps. On my first visit, I found the level of hygiene unacceptable. So dirty and smelly. When I left, I went straight to the GP and requested for referral to homerton. I have been impressed with the antenatal care that I have received and look forward to the birth. I'm 38 weeks tomorrow.

Oscalito Fri 12-Jul-13 09:55:56

I also remembered at homerton just before I left a midwife came in and asked if I had any comments about my birth. It was a good chance to have a chat to someone about what had happened, a bit of an informal debrief, and I really appreciated her taking the time to talk to me.

She said herself how much she loved Homerton and how it was a great place to work compared to some of the big London hospitals. I do think that a maternity unit that actively seeks your feedback before you leave is doing something right.

Shruggy Wed 24-Jul-13 22:34:54

Hi all,

Thanks again for the latest posts. Homerton have rejected me as they're too full. Is there any point in trying to appeal do you think? Obviously I'd rather there were enough midwives on the wards than be squeezed in somewhere that is full...

TheCokeMachine Thu 25-Jul-13 09:40:48

Hi Shruggy, I've had two babies at Whipps Cross and can honestly say the experience has not been bad.

I had an EMCS in 2011 and a ELCS this week. The labour ward staff and surgical teams are fantastic.

The post natal wards are not great, so if you can afford too, book a room in the private Forest Suite for your post natal stay.

I couldn't stay private this time as my baby was under observation so I ended up on the dreaded post natal ward. And it was fine, the midwives were kind, and my baby was checked by a doctor every two hours without fail.

I personally wouldn't be worried to have another baby there.

Good luck with your pregnancy and birth.

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