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Does anyone know anything about Whipps Cross Hospital?

(16 Posts)
thestylethatdecadesforgot Tue 02-Feb-16 21:45:40

We are moving areas and my nearest hospitals are Whipps Cross and a couple of others. Does anyone have any experience of giving birth there and ante natal care please?

Zeezeezoo Wed 03-Feb-16 14:11:44

Hi there. I haven't any direct experience of whips cross, as last week I gave birth at homerton (very pleased with experience and the staff). However I know in the past whips had some bad reviews, but a couple of friends have given birth at whips in the last few months and they were relatively happy with the experience. I think once they had the baby they found the wards were slightly understaffed or at least midwives over stretched, but I think this is typical of most London hospitals. Good luck with your pregnancy.

ACatCalledFang Wed 03-Feb-16 17:44:37

Yes, I gave birth there last year. Overall, I was happy with the hospital and would go there again.

Ante-natal care is generally done in the community by teams of midwives. You rarely see the same midwife twice, until you get to the later stages of pregnancy, but I was happy with the care I received. They were great post-natally - weight issues meant we had quite a bit of contact with them. They support home birth; a friend of mine had a home birth with them (first time mum) and was happy with the service she received.

They have a birth centre which was closed due to staff shortages in the summer - I understand it's reopened. The rooms looked good, though, and some had pools. They run tours on Tuesday evenings. While it was closed, some of the rooms on the ground floor in the delivery suite had been turned into low-risk rooms and there was a pool or two.

It's a busy hospital and midwives are definitely stretched, though I had one to one care as I was induced. All the midwives I encountered were lovely, bar one (who we unfortunately got stuck with when I was being induced; think I was just unlucky). And I met a lot of them as I was in for the best part of four days. The maternity block looks a bit battered but it had a very friendly feel to it - much more so than Newham, where we ended up when DS was re-admitted due to weight loss post-natally.

I ended up with an EMCS (failure to progress), and the surgical team were brilliant, especially the anaesthetist.

Post-natal care left a certain amount to be desired, as I understand is generally the case - clinically, it was fine, but the staff are so over-stretched.

Breastfeeding support was good but patchy - we had some great, very sensitive, support from one midwife, which included using alternative methods to a bottle in order to feed DS a little formula. But you do have to ask for help - they're very willing to give it but may assume you are ok if you don't ask. There is a breastfeeding counsellor available, at least on weekdays.

It's a big London teaching hospital - as with most of the NHS, great in a crisis, look elsewhere for the fluffy stuff, ask questions/ask for help when you need it, and bring someone to advocate for you if necessary!

I know quite a few mums who've used Whipps in the past year - all have been broadly happy with it, although one friend did have a mismanaged third stage of labour which was due to staff being overstretched. Also know some people who have used, and were happy with, Homerton, UCLH (very happy) and the Barkantine (ditto). Not sure exactly where you are, but these may all be alternatives to Whipps.

Sorry, just realised this has turned into an essay - hope it helps!

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 03-Feb-16 20:24:09

In 2012 the maternity unit felt terribly understaffed. Some good and caring staff but the system they were working within felt inadequate. It is very different to the likes of UCLH.

soundsystem Wed 03-Feb-16 20:45:35

Whipps is my local as well - I transferred from the Homerton at 16 weeks. I only transferred as I was planning a home birth, and moved house just too far away for the homebirth team from the Homerton. So I have no personal experience of the delivery ward to share. I know people who have had good recent experiences of the labour ward and the birth centre, although the birth centre seemed to close at short notice a lot last year due to shortages of midwives.

Ante-natal care is... well, I thought it was pretty chaotic. They seemed perpetually confused about who anyone was and why they were there. I spent a lot of time traipsing back and forth to different departments as they sent the wrong info repeatedly. I think it was summed up for me when I went to outpatients to get blood taken (after the ante-natal clinic lost it *3 times*) and overheard one of the staff in there said "It's a good thing most babies come when they're ready - if we left it up to ante-natal no-one would ever get born!"

I think it's just chronically understaffed, with lots of agency midwives. The community midwives are generally pleasant, but the response to any questions seems to be to print out the NHS website for you (from speaking to friends who gave birth elsewher this seems to be pretty standard, though)

On a positive note, the Whipps home birth team are wonderful - not sure if that's an option for you?

Dogmatix34 Wed 03-Feb-16 20:52:36

Had both DCs there and no issues. Obviously I don't have anything to compare it to but I felt very safe and supported during the actual births. Aftercare not so great in 2008 but big improvement by 2010. Most of my NCT group gave birth there and were equally happy.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Wed 03-Feb-16 21:07:51

Wow thanks for all the responses everyone, very useful.

I haven't experienced particularly high standards of ante natal care immediately post birth in two other hospitals, though nothing awful, just not much attention paid and some inaccurate note-keeping. So it looks like Whipps isn't much different. I would like a tour and will try and get one just so I know where I'm going on the day.

I will investigate the others mentioned too and see if they are an option. I have a consultant appointment just after our move at the current hospital so I think I will also ask their thoughts.

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Wed 03-Feb-16 21:12:32

I'm currently 38weeks pregnant. I am high risk so spend a lot of time at whipps. I must say I wS so nervous about using WC as I heard bad things about the hospital

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Wed 03-Feb-16 21:21:49

Sorry posted too soon blush
Heard bad things in the media.
I must say everyone I have met has been fantastic. So friendly, kind and knowledgeable. The hospital is run down outside but inside is fine, very clean.
The consultutants are very busy so you offen have to wait for a while but once you see them they don't rush you and are really lovely.
I have to go to the day assessment ward twice a week at the moment and all the midwifes up there are lovely too.
I had my daughter at an extreemally popular central London hospital 3yrs ago and the care I received there is shockingly bad in comparison to WC.

Lozza70 Wed 03-Feb-16 21:23:42

I had both DC's in Whipps. I was under consultant care for both preg so only saw the community midwives a couple of times. They were reassuring and I was happy with the care I received there. Anti natal appointments in the hospital were hectic as it is such a busy hospital but again I felt I got good care and they reacted quickly when I developed Obstetric Cholestasis in both pregnancies.

My first DC was born in 2008 and I had a Emcs after induction and failure to progress. The surgery was good but aftercare was terrible, one midwife in particular, and I ended up paying for a private room for the 5 days I spent in hospital afterwards. However second DC was born in 2012 and there was a real difference in my experience, again a Emcs but post natal care was a world of difference in terms of the time and input from the hospital. Was only in for 2 days.

I think like a lot of London hospitals they are really busy and under an amount of pressure but want to do a good job. I would go there again if I was to have anymore children.

ACatCalledFang Wed 03-Feb-16 21:32:57

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the fun that is trying to get bloods done....

TommyandGina Wed 03-Feb-16 22:18:38

My son was born in Whipps 2002. Was not a good experience and after an emcs he was resuscitated and is now severely disabled. Probably not Whipps' fault, I personally wouldn't go there again though.

Having said that the staff and care in scbu were awesome. My post natal care was diabolical, left In room with 3 other women and their babies and families all celebrating while I was alone without my baby who was fighting for his life

I do appreciate that my experience probably wasn't the norm.

thestylethatdecadesforgot Thu 04-Feb-16 09:45:37

flowers Tommy, I'm sorry that can't have been nice.

TommyandGina Thu 04-Feb-16 15:29:20

Thank you smile

The rest of the posters experiences seem fairly positive so I'm sure if that's where you end up then things will be just fine. Do bear in mind the location though, it's a busy area and the traffic really backs up and the roads get jammed easily in rush hour.

Good luck with whichever choice you make thanks

LittleBundleOfJoy Fri 12-Feb-16 23:40:12

Hi, my sister had an experience in WC, terrible care. She end up moving hospital.Really, if you have any other options please review them.

papersnowflake Thu 18-Feb-16 09:09:22

We started out at Whipps and were quite underwhelmed. Their admin is chaotic, and I agree with a previous poster who said nobody ever seems to know who you are or why you are there. My blood test results were lost, I was sent to the wrong department (and then told off for being in the wrong place!) etc. I'm low risk overall, but they did make one appointment for me with a member of the consultant's team which I was told was due to my family history of birth defects and he had no idea why I was there, just did the routine checks which the midwife would normally do and then tried to send me out the door! In 27 weeks I never saw the same person twice - although maybe that's just normal these days.

Having said all that, I did think the medical care was good on the whole - as long as you're prepared to ask a lot of questions, phone to chase things up, and double check things. I did sometimes feel like being classed as low risk didn't help, and felt a bit overlooked, but perhaps that's normal (and I am of course happy to be low risk!)

We've now switched to Homerton, it's early days but it gives a much better impression. The staff seem friendlier and more efficient, it's cleaner, and I've just generally found the whole experience less exhausting as you don't have to chase them all the time. We did a tour of the birth centre/delivery ward which was very good. We wanted to do one at Whipps to compare but couldn't get booked on as nobody ever answered the phone! We don't know many people who've had babies recently but among the small sample we do have, experiences of Homerton were more positive than Whipps. Time will tell if it was the right choice to switch. Good luck!

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