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Whipps Cross, North Middlesex, or Homerton?

(10 Posts)
NervousOfEastLondon Thu 08-Jan-15 22:34:03

I'm 8 weeks pregnant (nervous first-timer) and had my first nurse appointment this week, where I was asked to pick a hospital - have gone for Whipps but am now having a wobble, and wondered if anyone has recent experience of any of these hospitals?

I'm hoping to give birth in a birthing centre/MLU if at all possible, and am now wondering if I should have gone for North Middlesex on the grounds that their birth centre looks a bit bigger... Whipps and North Middlesex seem to get very mixed reviews online but these generally don't refer to the birth centres so am wondering if there is anyone who has given birth at either hospital more recently?

Homerton seems to get slightly more consistent reviews but birth centre seems smaller (not sure how common it is for them to get too full? Would they just send you to the labour ward?)

We live pretty much equidistant from Whipps Cross and North Middlesex, a bit further from Homerton, and will be travelling to hospital in a taxi when I go into labour.

Any recent experiences would be very gratefully received!

fancyanotherfez Fri 09-Jan-15 15:00:58

North Mid birth centre just been built, and is state of the art. My friend had her baby there and said it was fab. However, I had my first son there in the hospital, before they built the birth centre and the post natal ward was horrific, and as it's your first, you don't know how it's going to go. You may need to be transferred. I think though that yo can go back to the birth centre post birth, but I'd ask.

PinkyAndTheBump Fri 09-Jan-15 18:46:56

why don't you go for a visit to the both? WX does visits on Tuesdays at 6pm. You should have been given the number to call to book the visit at your booking in appt.

WX admin is a "little" bit chaotic - but all the staff I've met so far have been lovely, and there was a quiet efficient calmness around the delivery suite and birth centre when we visited.

Ask me again in a month, and I might give you a different opinion though ;)

NervousOfEastLondon Fri 09-Jan-15 20:50:28

Thanks for your posts. Pinky, we do plan to visit Whipps Cross, though the North Middlesex website suggests that they don't do tours.

Fancy, that's great that your friend had such a good experience. Fingers crossed!

To be honest, I'm a little bit miffed as the nurse at my surgery gave me no information at all other than that she'd had her own child at North Middlesex and would recommend it. She didn't mention there was a birth centre there, even when I said I liked the idea of giving birth in a midwife-led unit, nor did she mention it's no further than Whipps. Fair enough, I should have done more research, but I was still at the stage of getting my head round being pregnant!

Would appreciate hearing about anyone else's experiences!

MuffinMcLay23 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:23:47

Not sure about labour ward specifically, but the clinical reputation of whipps cross generally is poor so I would personally avoid that if there were other options.

GordonBennett2017 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:06:05

Hi appreciate this thread is over a year old....curious to know what NervousofEastLondon decided to do and the experience?? I'm in a similar position trying to decide between Whipps Cross and North Middlesex

ACatCalledFang Tue 08-Nov-16 13:23:01

Hello! That would be me, have changed names since then.... We stuck with Whipps, despite them being in special measures.

Never got within sniffing distance of the birth centre as went very overdue and was induced (and ended up with EMCS). The birth centre itself was closed last summer due to staff shortages but they converted a few rooms in the delivery suite into low risk rooms and my understanding is that the birth centre has subsequently reopened.

In terms of what Whipps is like as a hospital, it's mixed. Like most of the NHS, it's great in an emergency but woefully short staffed. If you search on my current user name, I think I've written about it before. Ante natal care was fine, mostly in the community which was nice and easy.

Labour: most of the staff were lovely, but I received awful "care" at the hands of one midwife while being induced. This may have contributed to it not working (failure to progress rather than anything more sinister - no negligence, but my wishes about things like being upright and mobile were ignored for no clinical reason). We made a formal complaint and that was upheld; I also had a birth debrief with them and they were excellent. If I found myself pregnant again, I would return as I genuinely believe I was unlucky - literally every other member of staff was wonderful.

Post-natal ward ok, hot as hell, but I expected worse. Clean. Very under-staffed but I think that's a problem everywhere. They were quite good on breastfeeding support but not very thorough - missed a severe tongue tie in our case.

I know other people who've given birth there and it's the usual mixture of experiences. One friend ended up with a crash section and is returning for an ELCS. Another had a broadly positive experience in the low-risk area. Another had a home birth with their team and was very happy.

Other friends in the area chose UCH (low risk, was very happy, now returning for number 2) and the Barkantine (ditto). I don't know anyone who gave birth at North Middlesex though. Avoid Newham - we were re-admitted there for feeding problems, it was awful. The Royal London is supposed to be very good on breastfeeding support if that matters to you.

LanaJH3393 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:06:41

i was born in whipps and also .....i had my first child.in whipps....when i arrived they didnt have any space to put me so put me on a sick childrens ward...i was there foraround 12 hours to which they gave me gas and air and diamorphine....i was then put into a private room which i made just intime as i got on the bed i was legs open ready to push....i started pushing at 8cm.....the midwife i had was really nice and talked me through it all and disnt try and force anything on me......i had a small tear which she stitched up no problem.....i was then left to it for myself in this room for 12 hours ...a midwife then tried to do a hearing test on baby but she kept moving around and i was told "shes hungry she hungry feed her" ...which i already had but didnt take that as an answer and i was wrong.....then when it come to leaving...i told my other half to get me a wheelchair as i couldnt walk...and he was told...if she cant walk then shes not going home......i had the embarrasment of "holding myself" whilst hunched over and trying to get back to the car....which is another thing....bcoz i never actually made it onto the labour ward....where i was in a sick childrens ward...they refused to give us the ticket for free parking so my other half had to pay £20 parking charge...which we challenged but they stuck by their decision.....im now 36weeks with 2nd baby but jave moved to colchester....i hope they are a bit better.....

kel1234 Thu 16-Feb-17 22:23:54

I gave birth at the birth centre at the Homerton and I can honestly say it was wonderful. Big room, so comfy, relaxing and quiet. And well equipped, and there's an ensuite. I got to stay in there until I'd had a shower and got dressed and was ready to leave (souls probably be different if it was busy though, think I got lucky). My midwife was the nicest lady I've ever met (I wish I could have her deliver my next baby in a few years, but I've since moved, so would be impossible anyway. And the student midwife was just as lovely.
Unfortunately that's where the lovely bit ends. The postnatal ward was horrible (didn't help my baby was in NICU and I was on the wars with other mums with their babies). The staff there were awful. And as for the NICU/ SCBU, even worse. A few nice nurses, but mainly horrible, all of them.
The only people I liked were the midwife I saw in the delivery suite when I first arrived (had to have a sweep, and had to wait in the delivery suite until I was so far dilated), and the midwife and student midwife who delivered my baby, and a few nurses in NICU / SCBU.

ItsBritneyBitch82 Wed 22-Feb-17 13:01:58

I was born in Whipps and gave birth their last November. The antenatal admin was hit and miss but I was so well looked after during labour and birth. I had to be induced and had a pretty horrible, long labour resulting in a section. Whilst that meant I never made it to the birth centre as originally hoped, the care I received was fabulous. The midwives, anaesthetist and Ward staff were calm and supportive. I also had lots of support from a bf counsellor on the ward to establish our feeding which I couldn't have done without! Due to the traumatic labour I was also given a private room. After birth my husband was allowed to stay with me on both the recovery and maternity wards - he slept in a chair! - which was a big thing for me as I didn't want to be left alone! I found the whole care experience great.

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