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Royal Free Hospital, Whittington or UCH?

(11 Posts)
Maura102 Mon 30-Nov-15 14:58:01

Hi all, I'm at the stage of choosing between the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, the Whittington in Archway or University College Hospital in Camden for my antenatal care and birth. I've heard some mixed reviews about the care at the Royal Free, both antenatal, birth and post natal, however it is the closest hospital to me. Has anyone had any experience of any of these hospitals which could help me make my mind up? Thanks.

CousinChloe Mon 30-Nov-15 15:12:10

had DD at UcH, no experience of the others.

ELCS as she was breech. Excellent ante natal care I thought, good c section but hated being on the ward afterwards. Next time I'll try and get a private room if there's one available. I'm preparing to go back there for Dc2, so was happy enough.

TriJo Mon 30-Nov-15 15:20:35

I had the same choice and went with the Whittington - reviews are slightly better and it's the closest of the 3 to me. I'm happy enough so far, but I'm only 24 weeks at the moment though so take that with a pinch of salt!

zipzap Mon 30-Nov-15 16:44:27

10 years ago for me now (so probably irrelevant) but I had shocking care at UCH - still makes me shiver now when I think about it.

Worst - at 39 weeks was worried I had PE - had textbook symptoms - but was told I was being silly and was sent away for a week. Luckily I have a relative that's an obstetric consultant - happened to be speaking to them the next day, they checked me out - and then admitted me to their own hospital that night. They also filed a formal complaint with the head of department (who they know professionally) about the registrar for missing something so very common with potentially such serious consequences when it should have been a no-brainer to diagnose (hell, I'd managed to!).

Meant I didn't give birth at UCH but was very glad not to after that!

As you can tell - years down the line it still makes me rant and rage!

MrsMarigold Mon 30-Nov-15 16:55:24

zipzap were you in the old building?

Most doctors chose UCH, because it has all the bells and whistles if things go wrong. I had one at UCH and one at the Whittington, UCH was excellent but the Whittington was more convenient with number two, and was a good choice because she came so quickly.

In terms of scans etc competency UCH wins hands down. Also the wards and food on the postnatal ward was better. But the breastfeeding support woman at the Whittington was bloody incredible.

Vinorosso74 Mon 30-Nov-15 19:12:43

Had my DD at the Whittington though that was 2010 and it was good. Found all the care good. It does have all the facilities if there's any problems. All other people I know who gave birth there were happy with it. Some of the wards were a bit dated but I know some has been updated.
I've heard positives about UCH but do think about getting to and from the hospital-Whittington or Royal Free might be easier.
I've heard mixed things about Royal Free.

Tallulahoola Mon 30-Nov-15 20:41:06

My only experience is of UCH (though I probably live nearer the Whittington) and I would recommend it without hesitation simply because it's a teaching hospital and the doctors there are fantastic. I had two emergency c-sections and felt totally confident that we were in the best hands. The attention you get at pre-natal scans is also excellent. It is a very busy hospital though so being on the ward afterwards was noisy and hectic. Food isn't great but another good thing is that you're right off Tottenham Court Rd so can send your OH out for supplies grin And the bad news about private rooms is that they're now £850 a night. Yes, you read that right

ag123 Mon 30-Nov-15 20:56:09

Had an emcs at Whittington in 2012. Antenatal care was all good but found post-natal care pretty poor...I was quite poorly and the doctor actually transferred me back to the Labour Ward as I wasn't being given meds when I should have been.

Their birth centre though is apparently amazing!!

Had an elcs at uch this August just gone. Found the entire experience completely and utterly commendable and would completely recommend based on my experience.

So I think it is possibly based on how likely you are to use the birth centre, which is an entirely unhelpful comment as the vast majority of people intend to go down that route but not that many manage it in the end..!

AbbeyRoadCrossing Mon 30-Nov-15 21:21:55

I was at the Whittington last year. Antenatal care was fine but very busy, difficult to book midwife appointments.
Postnatal ward was awful. It's a huge ward of 24 bays and partners can stay (which you might like) but it was very busy, not enough bathrooms, difficult to get help, breastfeeding support only for certain postcodes (Islington).
I hear good things about the birth centre though

Littleonesaid Mon 30-Nov-15 21:26:17

I had DS at UCH 3 years ago. He was induced. When I came back in after having the "induction" they said it would be at least 12 hours so DH went back home.

Firstly, I was left alone for long periods, although the baby's heart rate was being monitored. Midwife came back in eventually and asked me about intervals between contractions. As the clock was behind my bed, and I was all strapped up so couldn't move and in too much pain to hold my phone - I had no idea. She seemed put out out that I didn't know. She didn't then move me so I could see a clock.

I had a Tens machine which was working really well but it got dislodged so I asked midwife to replace it. She shoved them on randomly as I was trying to explain where to put them, and it was no longer effective after that. I felt that she couldn't care less.

A couple of hours in I was asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no as I was coping. But they told me if I didn't have one then I wouldn't be able to get one later as they were so busy. I felt really pressured to have it so agreed.

About 6 hours after DH had left I started pushing. Midwife turned to me and said sharply "what are you doing? The baby's no where near." She then had a look and realised I was in the last stage of labour and DS was born within the hour. Epidural hadn't worked and DH missed most of it.

On the bright side I left with a beautiful baby so can't complain.

The private room was also nice and the nurses/midwives on the ward were great.

Andcake Mon 30-Nov-15 21:41:06

Uch ok all emergency stuff is there I case anything wrong. Ds and I were readmitted. Horrible dirty and I killed a cockroach which was climbing under crib. Whittington is nearer we have used kids a&e a few times and found them good.

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