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What is the best Maternity NHS Trust in London?

(12 Posts)
RachaelLND Mon 17-Mar-14 13:41:28

Hello, I'm rather confused about what maternity hospital to choose in London and I'm hoping somebody will have some helpful advice. I'm currently based in France about to return to London where, assuming all goes well, I would give birth in late October. I'm concerned by the recent Maternity Services Survey 2013 ( which found that six of seven of the worst performing maternity trusts are in London ( The survey has downloadable results for individual hospitals but not being a Londoner (I'm actually Australian), I don't know which ones are which, and I can't find a comparative overview. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to locate the best (or at least better/tolerable) performing NHS maternity hospitals in London, at this stage I can choose to live anywhere around central London so geography isn't a concern. (My Bupa insurance has lapsed so private is an expensive option). I found this handy Birth Choices site on another thread on the forum which helps users choose according to a basic criteria ( but it doesn't compare performance. Any advice appreciated, thank you.

CityDweller Mon 17-Mar-14 16:17:11

It's hard, I think, for any one person to tell you which Trust is best because most individuals will only have had experience with one or two hospitals/ areas.

I had a very good experience with UCH (University College Hospital, which is near Euston and in Camden PCT I think, although I don't live in that borough but still fell within its catchment). I had a home birth with their community midwife team and cannot praise highly enough my care from beginning to end. I know of others locally who gave birth in the hospital and they also had good things to say.

I've also heard good things about Tommy's and Kings. And not so great things about Royal London and the Royal Free. But that's all anecdotal, of course.

squizita Mon 17-Mar-14 16:57:05

It very much depends on your needs I would say. For 'worst' be wary of raw data such as number of C sections etc'; stats (e.g types of intervention) might not be the whole story.
For example in my area for most women Queen Charlotte's would be the most popular choice in West London - but I have a particular medical condition and was very keen for St Marys as their Obs specialise in it. St Mary's has a higher intervention rate on paper but that is partly because high risk cases often go there (even from beyond London!) and they have an A&E so get stuck home births: it's not that their midwives are lax, it's the nature of some of their cases.

Which and NHS choices have reviews online, which might be more useful than raw stats.

rightsaidfred Mon 17-Mar-14 20:55:32

I am not sure you will be entitled to NHS care at all. They have really clamped down on this recently and there was lots of paperwork to fill in at my booking appointment certifying I was entitled to NHS care. If you have been living overseas in the last 12 months I don't think you are but you should check what the current rules are as they are very hot on this in London especially.......

HarderToKidnap Tue 18-Mar-14 09:43:13

kingston hospital came top in London in the latest CQC survey.
Kings and the Whittington also came out OK.
Once you've picked a hospital, then might be worth reposting either in property or here for advice where to specifically live within the catchment for the hospital.

HarderToKidnap Tue 18-Mar-14 09:48:11

On the CQC a-z list, the London trusts are
Barnet and chase farm
barking, havering and red bridge
Chelsea and west
Homer ton
Imperial college
Lewis ham
Royal free
South London
the Whittington
west Mid

Armadale Tue 18-Mar-14 09:57:03

I think without your BUPA insurance all this might be moot, to be honest.

I'm not sure you can just pick a trust and move into the area and access their facilities having just moved to the UK.

I have lived in London for 20 years, am English and have never lived in another country, ditto my DH. Our London hospital still went through my documents to check how long we had been resident & entitled to the care.

At the dating scan the receptionist also goes through them again before letting you have the scan (they send you a booklet with the scan appointment listing what documents you have to bring) and the couple who forgot did get told they had to re-book for another day and come with their documents.

rightsaidfred Tue 18-Mar-14 10:19:33

Armadale same as my experience then. I too am British born to 2 British parents with a British husband with 2 British parents and never lived overseas so found it quite amusing- but health tourism is a huge threat to the NHS and the two trusts I have been to this pregnancy have been very hot on this. I don't recall having to do any of this with my last pregnancy 4 years ago

FrumiousBandersnatch Tue 18-Mar-14 13:32:09

To echo a pp - a high intervention rate doesn't necessarily equate to a red flag. Hospitals like Kings serve a very diverse population, including immigrant mothers who have not had continuity of care throughout their pregnancies. As centres of excellence, very high-risk, complex births are referred to them which also skews the figures.

I had excellent care at Kings. You might like to consider other factors, such as the option to 'top-up' nhs care (assuming that you're eligible) by paying for a private room on the postnatal ward. I believe that this is possible at Chelsea & Westminster.

magicberry Tue 18-Mar-14 22:55:27

of course the NHS will treat OP - She might just have to pay for it, and it will still be cheaper than private care.
The NHS doesn't turn away mothers about to give birth - this is why we have a problem (but it's also the hallmark of a civilised society).
You will never get an answer from statistics as everyone's experience is different. Had friends who loved C&W - gets a bad press on here. Friends loved Kingston but others didn't. I'd choose where you want to live on other criteria and go from there.

RachaelLND Thu 20-Mar-14 16:41:23

Thanks to everybody who offered such helpful advice, especially to HardertoKidnap who went to the trouble of copying out the list of UK trusts - so nice of you and very appreciated. I now feel like I have plenty to be getting on with! For the person concerned about 'health tourism' - I don't feel this is relevant to our situation given that my partner and I are both long term UK tax residents and additionally both our countries have reciprocal health agreements in place with the UK. Many thanks, I guess I'll start researching! smile

Cariad007 Thu 20-Mar-14 18:35:53

The Whittngton hospital are excellent. Their birth centre is fantastic - no complaints at all and I'd highly recommend it. I was never asked for any proof of residence documents either and I'm not a British citizen, though I d have ILR.

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