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How to get to a hospital in central London?

(13 Posts)
squizita Mon 21-Apr-14 11:19:13

If you gave birth at a big centre-of-city hospital, but live in the residential/suburban part of that city, how did it work out for you?

I have a blood condition and as luck would have it Imperial are the 'national centre' for it, so I have been cared for by them (St Marys) throughout pregnancy. I would also like to go there for birth as the higher-risk MW team (I have been told) would be the same team of Drs and MWs so familiar with my case: they understand in which ways I am risky and which normal and have been quite calm about things.

My local hospital is not great dire, appalling for birth on all the surveys/word-of-mouth, and anyway I associate it with miscarriages, fear, bumbling juniors wanting to cut me open etc'. It's a no brainer which to go for IMO.

I live a bit further out in West London (zone 3) and on a weekend it's about a 15-20min drive to St Marys, or the same on the train. But I am very anxious about what if I go into labour in rush hour? shock DH suggested black cab... straight up the bus lanes. Would they take me?

creamoftomato Mon 21-Apr-14 23:58:04

hello - not in exactly the same place as you but I've just had my first baby at UCLH - we live in walthamstow, so about half an hour drive and we got a taxi to hospital. It was no problem at all. We rang around local taxi firms a few weeks before the due date so we had a list of 4 companies we knew were happy to take labouring women and how much it would cost. The taxi driver was basically thrilled on the night (and the next week coincidentally ended up picking my mum and dad up at the airport when they visited - even more thrilled!)

I think the only thing is the rush hour worry - I was really concerned about this too but we went to hospital at 11pm so traffic wasn't bad at all and he was born at 4:31 so plenty of time to spare.

I asked the midwives about this a lot when I was pregnant - they told me most people arrive in taxis, that we could consider leaving home a bit earlier than recommended (could discuss when we rang triage) and one midwife told me that actually most women don't end up travelling in rush hour because they feel stressed about it and your body knows not to be having a baby when you're stressed. Not sure if that's evidence based or not but I found it weirdly reassuring!

Def recommend you chat to the midwives about it and when you phone them up in labour be clear about where you are and how long it will take to get in (factor in also time for taxi to arrive!)

Good luck! V exciting! smile

squizita Tue 22-Apr-14 09:43:22

CreamofTomato thanks so much, that was just what I needed to hear!

smile smile

winstone Mon 28-Jul-14 16:18:24

CreamofTomato Which Walthamstow taxi firm did you end up using? We'll be needing to get one from Walthamstow to North Middlesex hospital while in labour and it'd be great to know a firm that's happy to take us! Thanks!

whatsagoodusername Mon 28-Jul-14 16:27:30

Have a back up plan for taxis.

I needed to go to the hospital around 7am. There was not a taxi to be had for at least an hour. DH ended up hiring a streetcar (now zipcar) and abandoning it near the hospital. We were already streetcar members, so getting the car wasn't a problem, and they agreed to collect it at the hospital when DH called them and told them in detail that I was in labour.

I guess otherwise we would have waited for the taxi. DS wasn't born until late afternoon, so it would have been all right, but it would have been very stressful for me to wait. Or we might have taken the bus. It was at least a direct route!

superram Mon 28-Jul-14 16:31:40

I was at queen charlottes and live in Ealing. Had to sit in rush hour traffic at 7.30am on a Monday. It was ok, just learn some back routes. I would just leave a bit early.

mssleepyhead Thu 31-Jul-14 09:16:38

Our hospital (not central london, but close) has pretty much no parking at all so we've been recommended to take a taxi. I have been given a list of taxi companies who take women in labour by my NCT person and recommended to set up an account with one of them so we can get priority booking. Can't quite work out how we'll know when to call them so that we get the taxi in time, but I figure on the day we'll manage! Could you try a couple of local taxi companies?

squizita Thu 31-Jul-14 13:14:07

super great advice- we're at the sister hospital - St Marys - but live virtually on the A40 heading into town! Suppose I only have to worry about the morning rush hour!
MsSleepy My DH has an account with the local bookable black cabs for work - I think they are honour bound to take a labouring woman, will get him to ring them. They're also those ones you can pay by card in so no worries about cash.

squizita Thu 31-Jul-14 13:16:20

Whats My old mum lives about 10 mins away from us... she might be our back up! grin Though DH is scared of her London aggro driving style at the best of times LOL!

creamoftomato Fri 01-Aug-14 15:11:42

winstone we used central radio cars - they were great - there were def others who said they'd be happy to take us but I can't remember who now... CRC were the first we called on the night and they were outside the house before id even managed to get my trousers on...!

Kewrious Sat 02-Aug-14 08:57:32

Live in Kew. Gave birth at C&W. We used Addison Lee. The man got me there in 9 mins. At 3 am with a hugely pregnant woman in the back I think he figured what was going on.

dreamingbohemian Sat 02-Aug-14 09:06:14

I was at St Thomas and lived in south london (zone 2/3) so about the same distance I think. We actually asked at one of the antenatal classes if there was a specific taxi firm they recommended, there was, and so that's what we used. The driver was really excited for us and there were no problems, although it was quite late at night.

So try not to worry, it will surely be fine smile

squizita Sat 02-Aug-14 10:31:25

Kewrious We used AL for ferrying people round for our wedding. Will try them out if the 'comcabs' bookable black cabs can't do it, sounds what we need.

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