st georges, st helier or kingston?(15 Posts)
Hello everyone, I'm having my first and pretty nervous. Any recommendations relating to st helier, Kingston or st georges hospitals?
You have choice? That's great. I would arrange a visit to each to get a feel of their facilities, approaches, atmosphere and attitudes. Bearing in mind those last two points can change significantly on a shift basis!
Read lots and plan well but expect it all to go very differently to your expectations! X
St George's uses a better form of fetal monitoring in labour where continuous monitoring is needed. They have a level 3 neonatal unit, one of the best in the country. They were on that still birth programme a couple of weeks back as one of the only hospitals doing extra screening at your anomaly scan (dopplers). They have three famous consultants in the world of fetal monitoring and scanning. They have a big team of specialist midwives... Maternal medicine, bereavement, diabetes, drugs and domestic abuse, mental health, normality consultant midwife, etc etc.
They have a birth centre on site, two birthing pools, fantastic homebirth team.
One of the lowest Caesarean section rates in London, lower than the national average.
I know all three very well and had my baby this year at St George's
I had DS at St Helier. The midwives during labour were brilliant, as was the surgical team when I ended up with an EMCS and the NNU team with DS. Postnatal care was stretched at best but I think you'll find that the case in most NHS hospitals. Which is closest to you? That is a really important factor especially if you have a long stay (we were in for a week) so makes it easier on DH coming backwards and forwards. Due DS2 at St H early next year and we didn't consider going elsewhere.
I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my first and due to give birth at st George's so don't have any birth experience but ante natal so far has been fine.
You never seem to see the same person but I think that's quite common, especially in London.
One positive for me was how clear the scan images were, so much better than anyone else's that I have seen. Maybe this is due to the excellent fetal monitoring that mummymidwife87 mentions.
Wow, thanks everyone! I do have a choice, but st georges is closest - unless we move (why does everything happen at once?).
Visits is a great idea.
Will continue my research, many thanks for your replies and best wishes with everything!
Had my 2 at SGH- they were brilliant and I was reassured by it being a tertiary hospital with a NICU and special care unit on site. I would personally go with the hospital (that provides good care) that is closest to you as there is nothing worse then being in established labour whilst stuck in traffic
I had the same choice 13 years ago, and went with Kingston as I'd heard horror stories about SGH, but it probably all different now. I had great care in Kingston though.
I had my daughter at the St Helier MLU three years ago. Care in labour was great but the postnatal ward was the worst few days of my life. Sadly I don't think the unit was much outside the norm for postnatal wards, but the midwives were overstretched, care was patchy bordering on neglect, and I had a terrible experience.
I was St George's for antenatal but gave birth at St Helier and spent 10 days in postnatal there while DD was in SCBU. I can't really comment on St H postnatal though because I was barely there, spent most of the time in SCBU, and I had a private room anyway. All the staff I met at both were lovely though.
St George's is clearly in a better league if you have any medical complications/risk factors. I think on the medical side St G would have been slightly better for DD while in SCBU.
On the other hand St Helier is smaller and quieter and isn't dealing with as many complex cases/social issues as St George's. So for example they were able to give me a private room for 10 days to stay with DD, no way would I have got that at St George's.
I've also heard bad stories about people having to wait for epidurals/epidurals going wrong at St G - but that may apply to the others as well. I think with all these hospitals you get good care if you are high risk and patchy care if not.
Postnatal, well I have heard bad things about all London hospitals, but have heard that Kingston is better for postnatal.
I had both mine at Kingston and the post-natal care was dire, particularly second time round.
I had friends who had babies at George's and St Helier and received much better care.
Kingston was good three years ago - three friends had dreadful experiences at St George's (a missed breech, huge damage from high forceps and a complete lack of care post C-section so screaming baby and immobile mum unable to reach baby). It's great for complex medical deliveries, but Kingston seems better set up for more standard deliveries.
The Carmen suite (midwife led unit) at St George's is excellent. Lovely spacious rooms, 2 birthing pools, midwives don't seem as stretched and if there are complications you get transferred within the same building. My postnatal care in SGH was fine. As pp have said they have an excellent neonatal unit.
I've only experienced St Helier's from being transferred in after an unexpected home birth with DC2. They certainly seemed very stretched. I have heard that their home birth team is great.
Kingston I've heard mixed reports about but that doesn't seem unusual. Given the traffic jams in rush hour around here I'd go for the closest one.
I have had both mine at StHelier (nearly five years ago and 6 months ago). I couldn't fault the care there, especially the post natal. Both times I stayed nearly a week - first time I could have left a day earlier, but asked to stay as I was struggling to establish breast feeding and they were very happy for me to stay another night. A lovely maternity assistant spent about 4 hours with me overnight, making me tea and toast, giving me moral support and helped me gain confidence with my feeding - I am forever grateful for her support that night. Second time my baby was nearly 6 weeks early and in the neo-natal unit. Apart from one midwife, one night I was there, again the care and support was amazing, they got me a pump, helped me express and were so kind to me as I was an emotional wreck frankly!
My nct group all had their babies in st georges or Kingston. No horror stories from anyone. As ever some report fab midwives and some reported stories of midwives being a bit average. I liked st georges and the reassurance of the special care unit if anything bad happened. Also st georges allow your partner to stay overnight on the post natal ward on a chair. This was vital for me and I would have struggled for the 2 nights I was there otherwise.
Overall though traffic is so bad near Kingston, unless you feel strongly one way or the other pick the closest/easiest to get to. You visit the hospital a lot for all the antenatal appointments too.
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