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Can I choose to have antenatal care in one hospital and give birth in another?

(16 Posts)
minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 11:52:29

I live in London and have a number of hospitals roughly equally near me.

I'd like to have antenatal care at St Thomas's because it has a prematurity monitoring clinic which aims to avoid prem birth (my first DC was prem).

However I'd prefer to give birth at St George's as it's a bit closer and a lot more familiar to me and I think I'll feel more comfortable there.

Is this allowed? Are there disadvantages? Of course it means I wouldn't get the same midwives for birth as for antenatal but in my (limited) experience you never get an "allocated" midwife at these big London hospitals anyway.

HarderToKidnap Tue 18-Mar-14 15:04:49

You can't opt to share your care from the beginning. What you can do is book to have your baby at Tommy's and then as the end of your pregnancy draws near, go to GP and be referred to SGH to deliver there. You'll have to go through the booking, bloods etc process again with SGH and your care with Tommy's will then be finished. There is a chance SGH will turn you down as they might be full for that month by then, but then you continue with Tommy's and deliver there.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 15:46:50

Thanks kidnap. That sounds fine. I guess I might change my mind anyway once I get more familiar with St Thomas's.

Sorry, another query since you seem very knowledgeable! If I'm booked in with St Thomas's does that mean any community midwife appointments would be with a team attached to that hospital? Or are community midwives independent of hospitals and I'll be with the same community midwife team regardless of which hospital I am with?

Ilovekittyelise Tue 18-Mar-14 16:52:40

community midwife bookings are through your gp surgery so they are attached to whatever hospital trust is local. thats kind of irrelevant though other than the fact that they might not be as familiar with the booking notes they have to complete for a different hospital.

i had a hideous first birth at a hospital that was dreadful. i opted to go to an out of area teaching hospital for my second birth but the cw who completed my booking was attached to the hospital i gave birth in first time and was hugely offended when i told her how crap they were!

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 16:57:11

thanks kitty! I was just thinking that my local community midwives last time were very convenient and pretty good, so I'd like to be with them again if poss. Sounds likely if it's via my GP (still at same gp).

It's very difficult choosing a hospital - I've heard horror stories about all my local ones sad but the prem clinic is a good reason to go for Tommys for antenatal at least. And they have a big MW led birthing unit which is what i wanted last time until DD turned up prem so I'd love to be able to use that this time round <wildly optimistic>

HarderToKidnap Tue 18-Mar-14 18:27:25

The community midwives will be attached to your GP and will work at the hospital within which you fall into catchment. This doesn't necessarily mean the closest one. If you aren't booking at the catchment hospital, then you will see midwives as the hospital you do book at for your booking, scans and some other appointments like 28 weeks and 34/36 weeks. In between you will the community midwives attached to your GP, or, if like at our trust they have cut funding for that, you may just see your GP for the antenatals inbetween.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 18:29:27

Ah ok I guess in that case it's likely to be hospital midwives plus GP in between, with v little community midwife involvement, especially as it's second pregnancy and I'd hopefully get extra monitoring at the prem clinic anyway.


sleeplessbunny Tue 18-Mar-14 18:34:07

I am booked in at 3 different hospitals for this pregnancy, in 2 different NHS trusts. It doesn't seem to have caused any problem, and nor did it for my last birth. I gave birth to DD at one hospital but had ante and post natal care (including 5 days' stay) in a different hospital. This time I have spilt ante-natal care between 2 NHS trusts (MW at one, scans & tests at another) and have been told I can choose which one to give birth in when the time comes as I am registered with both.

TeaandHobnobs Tue 18-Mar-14 18:37:01

minipie if you are being monitored at Tommy's pre-term clinic my gut feel is you might be assigned a hospital based midwife for your antenatal care rather than a community midwife, but I don't know for sure. I have a friend currently having her second baby under monitoring from the pre-term clinic as DC1 arrived at 24+5 (she was attending the clinic for that pregnancy too) but she hasn't mentioned about seeing a midwife - I shall ask her when I see her on Thursday.
I lived in SW16 and was assigned a caseload midwife through my GP, having chosen Tommy's, and she came to the hospital for my birth (31+5).
If I had the choice I would definitely give birth at Tommies again - sadly we are now out in the Thames Valley so I can't sad
Hope all goes well for you in your pregnancy thanks

HarderToKidnap Tue 18-Mar-14 18:45:23

Sleepless, that's a great service!! Do you mind sharing where the trusts are? I'm 99.9% sure that won't be available between the two trusts that mini mentioned. I agree with above too, care at Tommy's will be hospital based due to the previous pre term labour anyway.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 18:46:54

Thanks both.

Interesting Tea to hear of someone who has been through the Tommys clinic.

poocatcherchampion Tue 18-Mar-14 18:53:26

just to add I moved during my last pg (not in London so no help there) and opted not yo change hospital. I was offered either my new local mw or yo stick with previous which were linked into that hospital.

CrispyFB Tue 18-Mar-14 19:16:53

For my third, somehow I managed all my antenatal care at Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich which was near where we lived, but had an arranged ELCS at Chelsea and Westminster which is obviously the other side of town!

The consultant who put in my transabdominal stitch at C&W at 13 weeks offered me delivery there - in theory any hospital could do it, but he gave me the option and I accepted as I had a miserable time at QEH the first time. All I had to do was at around 34 weeks I told QEH I was delivering elsewhere and they seemed fine with it.. my antenatal care remained with QEH/community midwives right up until my ELCS. Post birth I had the usual local community midwives as with my previous two births.

I think the tricky bit is getting the delivery hospital to agree which in my case was no trouble at all given I already had a medical relationship with a consultant there.

With my second, I transferred at 22 weeks from QEH to Kings as I was high risk and not happy with QEH. I needed my GP for that, probably because my entire antenatal care was being moved and I saw the hospital midwives at Kings from then on. I didn't need my GP for just moving the delivery with my third.

sleeplessbunny Tue 18-Mar-14 19:42:44

I am in the south west, no idea how this compares to London but I figure it must be at least possible, if not commonplace. TBF I have had very straightforward pregnancies, fortunately, so perhaps that lends itself to having more choice.

RaRa1988 Fri 21-Mar-14 10:36:51

If they're under the same NHS Trust, you should be able to surely? I was originally under one Trust and had antenatal care at two different hospitals with a plan to give birth at a specific one of those or at another altogether. That was never a problem. I'm now giving birth at a different hospital under a different Trust, but plan to be transferred back to my original choice of delivery location for postnatal care (different Trust). Seems to be fairly commonplace up here.

ITmum81 Thu 23-Jul-15 15:33:24

hi all,
i am booked for first appointment at st thomas (30 minutes driving from home) and Whittington in Highgate (10m). can i do both appointments and then choose? will NHS realise it? smile

reviews for both are good but whittington doesnt have intensive care unit but, apparently, offers a less crowded service (less changes in MW). any suggestion? should i stay closer to home? its my first baby so its all new.

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