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London hospitals and mixing NHS/Private care

(6 Posts)
sparechange Thu 27-Nov-14 09:53:54

After a nearly 3 year journey, DH and I have finally got our BFP and are over the moon, but are now trying to work out what to do about hospitals.

For a variety of reasons, I want/need an elective c-section, and may be eligible for this under medical insurance, but the insurance company won't guarantee this until after week 30, probably nearer 34.

Has anyone had NHS care from week 12-30 and then transferred to a private unit, to either self-pay or be covered by insurance? Do the NHS hospitals with private units (Chelsea & West, St Thomas's) take a positive or negative view towards this?

My GP appointment is in a week and I need to pick a hospital then, so any help would be really appreciated.

Failing that, has anyone done self-funded private treatment throughout, with midwifery antenatal care but an elective section delivery?

cluttercluttereverywhere Thu 27-Nov-14 15:08:12

Congratulations on your BFP!

I moved from the NHS to private at 22 weeks at the same London hospital. The cost was probably almost the same as it would have been if I'd gone private from day 1. No negative views at all (or if there were, I didn't pick up on them!) My consultant offered me the birth of my choice where possible, and in end end it had to be a C-section for medical reasons at 37 wks. It was very easy to switch over, I just called around a few consultants & booked myself in, and he cancelled my remaining NHS appointments (he actually recommended I keep a few of them like the glucose tolerance test as it would be cheaper).

I was intending to pay it all myself but in the end BUPA paid around a third of the costs (maybe just under that) as the CS was medically necessary (hospital stay, anaesthetist etc) . However - they will only pay to around max £500 towards the consultants fees, and you are unlikely to find one in London for under around £5k.

There wasn't an option to go private under a midwife AFAIK, it was consultant led care all the way, which was fine.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

sparechange Thu 27-Nov-14 17:00:23

Thanks Clutter
After a day of lots of googling and calling, it looks like the private wing at St Thomas's might be the best option, and as you said, the price difference between going at 12 vs 30 weeks in negligible, so I'll be lobbying DH for us to do that!

Annietheacrobat Thu 27-Nov-14 17:06:39

As long as you have appropriate cover (or are willing to pay) there is no reason why you can't start off within the NHS system and then transfer to private care towards the end of pregnancy. It might be better received if you don't announce this as your intention from day 1 though ultimately it is your right to do so.

MissyBear10 Thu 27-Nov-14 21:07:27

Hello - I've just had a private birth. We opted out as I wanted choice.

The real cost is later pregnancy and obviously the birth.

Key thing is the best consultants and even the unit I chose can get booked up early. In the case of the consultant - during your first 12 weeks.

Insurance is unreliable here so I'd budget to pay and any cash uses a bonus!

UsernameAlreadyInUse Fri 28-Nov-14 19:43:14

I've done this twice - transferred from the NHS into private care for ECLS at 37 weeks as it was covered by my insurance due to medical need. It was very straightforward, neither consultant was fazed at all. One company let me pick my consultant and the other allocated me to a consultant which meant I went to the Portland for the first and the Lindo for the second.

If you look at various consultants' websites you'll see that lots of them offer the option of transferring in for delivery only (£3500 or seems to be the going rate) so I think it must be fairly commonplace. Call around and see who has space. I found the consultants' secretaries fairly helpful on this, especially if you are going for an ELCS and can already pinpoint your 39th week.

Just one thing to note about going earlier rather than later is that if money is a consideration, the consultant's fee might not be that different but you'll have a lot more scans, bloods and possibly other tests before 30 weeks than afterwards and you will be charged for every. little. thing.

I didn't announce what I was going to do during my NHS antenatal care as it wasn't relevant. I simply didn't book in for my 39 week appointment and dropped out of the system. I suppose it might have been a consideration if I'd had a condition that needed on-going monitoring or could have affected the delivery.

Congratulations and good luck!

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