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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

rubberband Wed 14-Aug-13 22:43:34

I delivered DD at Homerton and had mixed care. Triage midwives were brusque, patronising to me as a first timer and pressured me into having pethidine which I was not keen on and which did not help AT ALL; I was also sent home (20 mins away) for a warm bath at 3cm with contractions coming every minute (!) and returned to hospital by ambulance an hour later at 7cm. I was also told by the same MW that my waters had broken when they hadn't.

However... Once I was admitted to the delivery suite my care was brilliant; knowledgeable and attentive MWs, consultants were great; the whole team put up with me pooing everywhere blush. It was Christmas day and so they also waived their 2 birth partners only rule and allowed the in laws into my room straight after the birth. And at the end of it all DH and I were allowed to sleep in one of the birth centre rooms with double bed rather than being moved straight to postnatal ward.

Apparently they do a mean Christmas dinner in the canteen too (seasonally dependent) - DH are three in front of me whilst I couldn't eat a thing due to epidural hmm

Hope that helps! And congratulations Shruggy

Shruggy Tue 06-Aug-13 20:22:38

Hi again creamoftomato,

You're welcome. It's a scary time for us all so being able to hear from other mums to be is so important. I hope you get a tour arranged soon. I'm going for my 12 week scan on Tuesday so will ask then when I will be able to have a look around the actual ward and birthing pools.
I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy x

creamoftomato Sat 03-Aug-13 15:09:03

hi shruggy, thanks so much for this, it's really reassuring. the homerton rang me late fri afternoon to say I couldn't come there because they are so oversubscribed so i rang whipps to book a tour - they are full until mid September (!) so were going then. Maybe after the gp appt though I'll have an appt at whipps before this. Thanks so so much again for replying, it's just so so kind of you and I really appreciate it.

Shruggy Sat 03-Aug-13 14:49:54

Hi creamoftomato,

Welcome to the chat.
I had my booking in appointment with Whipps on Monday and the midwife was lovely. She was really well informed and gave me loads of paperwork and talked me through upcoming scans etc and what to expect. I wasn't in the main hospital as their units are purpose built blocks outside but it was clean and I have no complaints.
Hope they helps alleviate some of your fears. I'm yet to do a tour of the maternity ward but I had a scare a few weeks ago and had checks in gynaecology Rowan Ward. Again, it was clean and everyone was very efficient and kind. Fingers crossed the rest of the experience will be a good one for both of us if you end up there too.

creamoftomato Fri 02-Aug-13 15:03:48

hello, this is my first posting on mumsnet so i hope its ok to just add something to this thread even though its on page 3 of the talk here now!
i live in walthamstow, im 6 wks pregnant with my first baby and ive been trying this week to self-refer to the homerton (bc i cant get a gp appointment for another fortnight). we're technically in the whipps x catchment area i think but we live closer to the homerton and its much easier to get there. plus everyone ive spoken to says whipps is a nightmare so im very keen to avoid having to go there if at all possible.
i spoke to a midwife at the homerton today on their advice/help line and she warned me that they were unlikely to accept my self referral because i dont live in hackney - im still waiting for a final decision but im just wondering if there is anything else i could do...? if they say no i'll try to visit whipps x, but if i arrive and find it dirty and smelly like the previous poster noted i think i'll just really panic. any advice...?

legallyblond Sun 28-Jul-13 14:43:50

Shruggy I would have been a different side of Whipps geographically I suspect (Woodford) but I chose Harlow over Whipps and had a totally brilliant experience there. It's a quick nip up the M11, so maybe worth thinking about if, after visiting Whipps, you're not happy.

Shruggy Thu 25-Jul-13 22:14:34

Thanks TheCokeMachine. That's very re-assuring. Whipps have rang me today to invite me in to meet a midwife on Monday already so I'm very impressed at their quickness and taking that as a good sign.
I will ask about the Forest Suite costs - really good to know that's an option. Worth saving for to have the comfort and privacy I bet.
Hope you continue to do well and enjoy getting to know your new bundle!

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.

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...

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 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!

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.

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

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...

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