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Chelsea and Westminster- experience?

(24 Posts)
chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Feb-14 19:53:15

Can anyone who has given birth recently at C&W please give me their experience? Positives and negatives, aftercare, how long was your stay? Birthing unit or ward? Did you get a private room or stay on the ward? Any information greatly appreciated.

I had my first at St Mary's Paddington MW birthing unit but due to complications moved onto ward for recovery. Unit fantastic, ward atrocious. Have since moved from NW London and due to give birth again in May. C&W is closest option so would appreciate any reviews.


Timeforgin Thu 27-Feb-14 20:48:32

I have had two there but on the Kensington Wing (consultant led) so can't comment on the NHS side. However I think the midwives work on both sides (they were great both times) as obviously do the consultants. PM me if you have any questions you think I can answer!

Friends who have given birth in the NHS side report great care during labour but not so great on the ward afterwards (understaffed etc).

emmac3616 Thu 27-Feb-14 21:29:01

I gave birth at C&W at Christmas when they were VERY busy. They were EXCELLENT in labour - I was in the birthing unit (pool) and had a MW and doula just for me - it was lovely for 6 hours and DS was all but out and then got stuck. They were very quick to transfer me to the obstetrician led bit of the labour ward and DS was out in 20mins after suction and forceps. I am generally deeply distrustful of the NHS (after lots of bad non-baby-related experience) but I have to say their acute care was excellent. The MWs were lovely, as was the doula and I felt the obstetricians did a fantastic job (and my stitches healed very well). HOWEVER my husband and I spent one night on the NHS postnatal ward and it was awful. They were just far too busy - 2 MWs for many many women / babies - we saw no one for hours so transferred ourselves to the Kensington Wing (there were no NHS individual rooms available, think they only have two and these are allocated on medical need). It was expensive but worth every single penny - we had 2 midwifes looking after us, they taught us (first time parents) how to feed our baby properly and burp him etc. and also checked my stitches and gave me advice on how to recover well etc. If I were to have another I would probably do the same again at C&W - NHS delivery (they were honestly excellent and I am not sure private would have been better - plus its c.£15k+!) with private care afterwards.

ElleDubloo Thu 27-Feb-14 21:49:53

I was a medical student at the C+W obstetrics ward grin so I got to see the gory side of things blush

C+W has a very good reputation for obs and gynae.

Expectans Thu 27-Feb-14 22:16:36

I was there at Christmas too and in for 3 nights. The labouring bit was fine, was in from 1am on Christmas day onwards. The midwives were excellent. The post natal ward was fine during the day but Hellish at night. Very noisy and not many staff around. I would strongly recommend either going home or paying for a private room. My nerves were shot to pieces waking up every 20 minutes with a different one of the 6 babies in the ward crying.

Lots of support with breastfeeding, though in honesty I found a couple of the staff unnecessarily curt. My baby was very small and struggling to latch and one woman seized my breast with no warning and pushed him on very firmly. It was very unpleasant. But she was the only bad one, and others were tirelessly patient.

I took my own pillow which I was very grateful for

Expectans Thu 27-Feb-14 22:20:31

I was on the labour ward as the new birthing unit had not yet opened. No frills, but very clean. Once things started happening everything seemed to move very efficiently.

The food was good. OH spent uncomfortable nights in a chair, and most of the partners did stay overnight.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Feb-14 22:27:00

Thanks ladies smile very reassuring. I feel a common theme occurring with labour ward recoveries...In general never the fluffy experience we would hope for or expect after what can be quite traumatic.

Emma- I hope you don't mind me asking but what was the cost of the room on Kensington wing?

I have been considering this option since last birth, hopefully there will be availability as I understand these are first come first served basis! I generally saw a lot of rude nurses who frankly did not look all too pleased to be helping with the nitty gritty that is aftercare of a mother who has just given birth (yes removing a catheter isn't pleasant or glamorous but would you think it's any more pleasant for the humiliated mother? Honestly not sure why some people choose their profession)...

Anyway loving the feedback. Keep it coming smile

rightsaidfred Thu 27-Feb-14 22:28:28

I have had 2 elcs at C and W.
Antenatal care good- though I have never seen the same midwife twice it was fine. Had spd and saw a physio the same day and weekly.
I had a 1 in 4 risk of Down syndrome on screening- CVS was arranged faster than I could have got privately and consultant was brilliant

Post natal ward- fine during the day, horrendous at night..... very busy and noisy and no help getting baby in and out of the crib after a elcs. Bathrooms were filthy. Private rooms were over £800/ night and there were none available.

I am going back for a third time mainly due to the physio and CVS. Found they were excellent when things weren't going well

Expectans Thu 27-Feb-14 22:40:52

Second the bathrooms being revolting. I had assumed it was just low staffing over Christmas. Overflowing bins and blood flecks, yuck. The delivery room was very clean though.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Feb-14 22:47:33

Ew expectans confused will remember to pack flip flops just in case (and if you're reading this C&W staff- sort it out! Grim!)

Timeforgin Thu 27-Feb-14 22:53:32

Rightsaidfred - if you don't mind me asking which consultant did you see for cvs?

rightsaidfred Fri 28-Feb-14 00:08:37

Guy Thorpe Beeston. He was great - explained everything beforehand, not rushed into agreeing to have the procedure etc and got the results quickly (3 days I think for the prelim results). I was then scanned by him a couple of times inc anomoly and referred for foetal cardiac echo to rule out other causes of v high nuchal fold..... this was all on NHS

emmac3616 Fri 28-Feb-14 04:35:25

chattychattyboomba - if you managed to get one of the NHS individual rooms on the ward think it was £300 but for Kensington (so a move to the private ward) it was £885. Sounds a huge amount i know but for the level of care and attention I would pay double that every time! Plus food was amazing ;-)

ItsBritneyBitch Fri 28-Feb-14 05:16:45

Had my baby here in October. Went in for induction, was there for three days! First day was great (but I'm guessing that was more down to my excitement), second day I feel I was sort of forgotten about and ignored when asking what was happening. Third day I was left until the afternoon then taken to the labour ward for a drip.

From there I had the most amazing time. Everyone was lovely. I had two midwives very funny, open approachable & talked me through everything that was happening (epidural only worked down one side, had over stimulation caused by the drip, my heart rate sky rocketed and placenta didn't want to come away and bleeding didn't want to stop once it did!) Midwife even fought my corner with the consultant when the epidural didn't work. It sounds awful but it really wasn't that bad and I actually had a good time grin

The post natal care was great too. Everyone really attentive. Took a while to see a doctor during rounds though. None of the horrible nurses I had heard of or the bounty harassment!

Really lovely girls, took the time to talk and helped with first few breastfeeding days. We was in for 4 days!

Lovely food too which is important.

They were also very good security wise, strict about people coming and going etc.

I was on the nhs ward and would definitely recommend it!

Seems like only yesterday baby was born, now I'm laying here with 17 pounder sprawled across my tummy! Oh how time flies wink

ItsBritneyBitch Fri 28-Feb-14 05:21:22

Just to add the bathrooms were very clean when I was there, maybe down to lazy cleaners?

snowpink Fri 28-Feb-14 05:38:29

Had my first baby there in 2009, lots of things have probably changed since then, but the bathrooms were disgustingly filthy! And the postnatal staff were horrible (day and night). I was there for five days after delivery. (Plus I wasn't happy with the medical aftercare, care during labour was ok)

Potol Fri 28-Feb-14 05:53:28

EMCS (scheduled ELCS but went into labour) there in Jan 2012. Excellent antenatal care including once when I felt the baby stopped moving at 36w. Didn't see the same midwife but I wasn't bothered. V v good surgeons. Did an awesome job with my CS and the scar healed beautifully. The atmosphere inside the OT was relaxed and fun. Excellent breastfeeding support. DS was v small at birth and lethargic and had low blood sugar. They asked if I would greatly object to a little formula. I agreed and we gave him a few top ups in the first 48 hours but he was weaned off it and I breastfed for a year (not exclusively). Yes, the postnatal ward was a tad noisy but I was prepared for that and it wasn't too terrible. I actually found the bathrooms pretty clean. I did take flip flops but I had a shower and it was fine. Would happily go there again.

CrispyFB Fri 28-Feb-14 20:49:04

I had an ELCS at C&W in 2011. I've previously delivered at QEH in Woolwich and Kings College. Compared to those two, it was fantastic.

I can't comment on the antenatal care although I am pretty sure it is excellent - I was only there as I had specialist treatment (permanent transabdominal stitch) and the consultant who fitted it offered to deliver me there and after my postnatal experiences at the other two, I jumped at the chance. They do have a good reputation for medical skill - so does Kings too, but after the postnatal experience I had there, never again.

It was clean when I was there, everywhere I went. The other patients were in general more considerate than at the other places which made for a more relaxing experience, and the midwives/nurses were all fine - there were no "duds" (i.e. the sort who make you wonder why they ever entered such a profession!) They were also great about making sure I had a bay near a window after I ended up in a really bad way at Kings as I had no natural light for days and it sent me loopy and nobody cared until a few shift changes later.

It wasn't perfect, but it was everything I would expect the NHS to be and I was not disappointed in any aspect.

ams1124 Fri 25-Apr-14 18:07:42

I rarely put comments on forums but think CW maternity unit deserves a thumbs up.

I gave birth to my first born on easter sunday 2014 at the labour ward.

I am a doctor myself and count as low risk through out my pregnancy.

initially wanted to give birth on the medial led labour ward due to my profession however after visiting the brand new birthing unit ( the MW led) i have changed my mind wanting a trial of ' natural birth in a calm relax environment .

unfortunately the MW led birthing unit was closed on the night when i went in as there was a medical emergency ( a lady suffering from life threatening condition ) so they have to close the birthing unit temporally to re allocate staff to deal with that. It was a little bit disappointed as i wanted to try the pool but i didn't mind as if i were that poorly lady i would want them to do the same for me.

my labour went on and got transferred to one of the delivery room at about 3am on easter sunday and looked after by one of the MW from the birthing unit- Andrea. From a medial point of view, she is amazing. She looked after me very well and impressed me by giving very clear and effective instructions- exactly what i want. she acknowledged that I was really worried about any tear or needing assistant delivery so she so gave me very clear instructions what to do during the ' crowning' bits.

by listening exactly what she told me to do- i have no tear at all. I had a 8 its 14 oz baby and consider i am only 5 ft 2!

i was transfered to the birthing unit once i have given birth to rest as they re- opened it in the morning. the facilities there are great ( with double bed so husband can have a lie down with me). rooms are clean. MW are professional and doulas there is a bonus! I was worried act BF but they made sure i as happy with the latching before going home.

The only thing i am not sure is the post natal ward as i didn't stay there.

Highly recommend Chelsea Westminster maternity unit.

handcream Fri 25-Apr-14 18:16:53

A few have mentioned the filthy bathrooms - why!

Its one of the easiest things to keep on top of. Having said that - why are they in such a bad condition - because of the people using them! There must be a large amount of people who just treat them as an extension of their own homes which must be pig stys!

Who are these people?

alia33 Fri 25-Aug-17 12:24:51

Can anyone who has given birth recently at C&W please give me their experience? Positives and negatives, aftercare, how long was your stay? Birthing unit or ward? Did you get a private room or stay on the ward? Any information greatly appreciated.

Cheeseishappiness Sun 27-Aug-17 00:45:16

Hi Alia33
I gave birth at C&W a few months ago on the NHS side.
In summary I was therefor a few days, the labour itself was ok (bar midwives and consultants frequently disagreeing with each other as to next steps and rolling their eyes at each other and causing a dreadful atmosphere) but the aftercare was AWFUL. Filthy bathrooms (blood everywhere and also overflowing toilets), 6 women on a postnatal Ward straight after giving birth and many had their entire extended families and friends with them for 24 hours a day meaning I got close to zero sleep when I was there. They were talking loudly and laughing all night about two metres from my head and the midwives were too busy to intervene.
I had originally chosen C&W because I thought I could give birth cheaply on the NHS and then pay to get a private room. BIG mistake. All of them were taken by 'higher priority' patients than myself - apparently 'higher priority' means people who recently had a bereavement or who had complicated multiple births.
While I don't resent those women being prioritised over me, this obviously meant I got stuck on the hellish Ward with no sleep for days on end. No joke after a Labour that lasted 2 days and then 3 more days on the ward recovering, I nearly had a nervous breakdown.
I'm now pregnant again and will not be going back to C&W for this reason (unless I can convince my husband to fork out for their private wing 'Kensington Wing').
If you take away one key piece of info from my post let it be this: wherever you choose to give birth make sure you find out how many women there are on the postnatal wards. I naively failed to do this for the birth of my first child just thinking 'oh I'll pay for a room afterwards' and lived to regret it. I have a ton of friends from baby classes in SW London who had an identical experience to me at C&W so I know my experience is sadly far from unique. Good luck Alia. You can ring round the maternity wards and ask them how many on each ward and they should tell you, you can also book yourself in to do tours and ask face to face.

Oli0808 Sat 13-Jan-18 15:37:49

How much was it roughly just to transfer to the Kensington for one night?

MuMuMuuuum Sat 13-Jan-18 18:45:58

From memory around £1000 per night on post natal.

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