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Pls share your experience of NHS delivery at Chelsea & Westminster...

(7 Posts)
bumpitybumpbump Tue 11-Nov-14 15:38:40

I am due in April 2015 and so far have been very impressed by the antenatal care. I went private for DD1 but that was a stretch and we really afford to repeat it. Whilst I have been impressed so far, I have just had a friend have a terrible experience at another London NHS hospital which has terrified me.

The positives for me are that I am fairly high risk, having had sudden and severe pre-eclampsia last time, so the (wonderful) NHS consultant I saw today said they wouldn't let me go past 40 weeks and might even induce at 39, which I would welcome on the basis the baby will be smaller (although DD1 came naturally on due date). However everything will be midwife led which just terrifies me slightly having experienced the total luxury of having the full attention of a consultant. I had a straightforward birth with a small episiotomy so my rationale brain tells me I am a perfect nhs midwife led patient, but the worrier in me is going "oh my god what if I tear horribly/am denied epidural/become incontinent for the rest of my life". Please share your stories because if the delivery care is as good as the antenatal care has been then I'm probably worrying about nothing....[crosses fingers]. Thank you.

bumpitybumpbump Tue 11-Nov-14 20:19:58

That should say CAN'T afford to repeat it!

thomasstockmann Mon 17-Nov-14 12:14:31

Hi bumpitybumpbump! I debated some time before posting. Overall I had a bad experience at C&W (jan 2014). I'm going to try and be fair and list good and bad things. Hopefully others mums will corroborate my views or not.
I had an epidural and therefore was in the doctor led LW.
Good
When it came to the crunch (forceps followed by massive PPH, 2 blood transfusions) obstetricians were very calm and professional.
On the maternity ward, some MW were outstanding (I stayed 4 days).
Antenatally MW did all medical checks.
Bad
MW never explained potential risks associated with instrumental deliveries (faecal incontinence, prolapse). So with hindsight my birthplan was written out of thin air. I personally would force them to discuss what is best if "you fail to progress" and what to ask if ventouse fails or if you want ventouse at all!
Very poor care on High dependency unit (not given food or drink for 12 hours after birth despite repeatedly asking and having passed the drinking test, hubby had to step in). Dismissive nurse.
Got inexperienced MW to "help" me breastfeed. She was hurting me.
Found most MW before birth, at triage, afterwards, too assertive and with little compassion (not even a sorry when I explained I was faecal incontinent). They have just had an inspection and it mentions maternity services as ok but with a culture problem (whatever that means).
Very noisy maternity ward with people on mobiles and skypping as if the curtains were made out of concrete. Staff were unable to inforce order.

Overall I'd say they do the health but not so much the care bit of healthcare. It also very much depends on the individual you are facing. Some outstanding but sadly too many without much concern it seemed to me.

minifingers Mon 17-Nov-14 20:02:15

"However everything will be midwife led which just terrifies me slightly"

I wouldn't worry. 2/3rds of births at C&W involve some sort of intervention, so the likelihood is you'll have a doctor involved in the birth anyway....

Sorry not meaning to be mean spirited, but I've just been looking at the figures and marvelling how any hospital with a 33% c/s rate manages a 19% assisted delivery rate on top of that....

"oh my god what if I tear horribly/am denied epidural/become incontinent for the rest of my life"

I'd comfort myself with the knowledge that you're probably less likely to end up with a forceps delivery if you have a midwife caring for you than a doctor, but if you do have a forceps birth it'll be a doctor doing it.

And second deliveries are vastly more likely to be straightforward than first.

thomasstockmann Mon 17-Nov-14 22:18:59

Hi again!
I thought it might be useful to share how different my birth plan would be understanding the risks of assisted deliveries and how busy MW are (sadly instead of supporting you-their main focus seemed to be how well the baby was doing; very happy with that but I'm afraid it means they can't monitor the baby AND support you in my view).

New birth plan
No epidural and hire a doula to support me throughout labour.
During labour
Really question what to do after a first failed ventouse attempt. I only know now that using forceps after ventouse puts you at much higher risk of urinary and faecal incontinence. I wish I had understood that before.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Tue 18-Nov-14 14:44:24

I think you need to be realistic - it is a very busy, central London hospital and that means that the staff are very stretched Mon-Fri and at the weekend it is a nightmare.

I have had my 3DC at 3 different central London hospitals and I could barely distinguish them.

At all three, including C&W:
I was fobbed off/ignored till the last minute as there simply were no rooms for labouring in. Once admitted, and in a labour room, the care was excellent. The delivery midwives were great and all three of my births ended up in theatre with vontuse…at C&W, the staff were lovely, kind and absolutely no "damage" to me in theatre. Baby delivered safely.

After care was poor - midwives too busy, wards absurdly noisy (and hot), dirty bathrooms etc etc. But would I pay £15k just to have a lovely post-natal experience…no. It is what it is!

C&W has excellent consultants and excellent crisis care should something go critically wrong. So if you are going to choose a hospital, it is a sensible choice.

tellmesomething Tue 18-Nov-14 15:26:28

The bad: Took a while for me to get a labour room, they said I was having false contractions because they were so irregular were too scared to check me because my waters broke and left me in agonising pain in a ward alone for 5 hours, DH wasn't allowed in because I wasn't in labour supposedly. After I grabbed the night nurse and screamed check me before I kill someone she found I was 5 1/2 cm dilated hmm birth and after care were beyond excellent.

Hospitals employ people, 1 person can spoil it for everyone but despite it all I would highly recommend them they were so good to me and took great care of my beautiful Ds... This was 3 years ago

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