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Royal Sussex County - any experiences?

(15 Posts)
PollyPocket100 Mon 15-Feb-16 13:33:48

I live within 10 minutes of this hospital but have read some really awful things (particularly about their postnatal ward) online and am now thinking maybe I should choose somewhere a little further afield.
Any experiences?

lynholmerpark Mon 15-Feb-16 15:18:50

'Awful things', such as….? It might be worth contacting the local MSLC to dispel any myths and discuss your worries. Found this for you: or how about going to the Unit for a tour.

Unfortunately, many hospital's postnatal wards are stretched, its a sign of the times. If you are low-risk, you could consider using a local birthing unit but also remember much of your postnatal care will be once you are at home by your community midwives.

taxxigirl Mon 15-Feb-16 18:22:09

Hi, no experience of it myself but due to give birth there in August and didn't want to read and run!

applepyjamas Mon 15-Feb-16 18:43:48

I was booked to give birth there but switched to Princess Royal Haywards Heath after I had a not great experience a few weeks ago. Was sent to triage at 37 weeks with high blood pressure, they were clearly at full capacity, with women labouring in the corridors; I saw a colleague whose wife was labouring in a bay on the postnatal ward and having an awful time of it; a woman was told some bad news (I'm assuming her baby had died in utero) and we could hear everything from the tiny, hot waiting room - she had a gaggle of people with her and they were all running up and down the corridors screaming and wailing and being sick - not their fault to have to go through something so awful, but there was nowhere to put them, so all the pregnant woman got freaked out and upset as well. The staff were amazing (when we got to see them finally) but if you end up there on a busy night (they regularly close) and it's not a great experience for anyone. They ended up going on divert just as we left at 23:30. And don't even start me on the parking - I couldn't begin to imagine queuing for the car park then making it up that tower while in labour, and paying a fortune for the privilege. Had to travel almost twice as far to get to PRH but the maternity unit was merely busy rather than chaotic, and while not perfect a much better option for me. There is also Worthing (heard good things) or Eastbourne midwife led unit close by.

applepyjamas Mon 15-Feb-16 18:45:44

Or tl;dr - RSCH is in my experience overcrowded and under-staffed.

imsorryiasked Mon 15-Feb-16 18:53:28

DS is 7 now but my birth experience was good. The post natal Ward was pretty soul destroying.
I was supposed to go to Haywards heath which i find a much friendlier hospital but they were full.
As it turned out ds spent an unexpected week in special care so it was a good thing that we were already at Brighton.

PollyPocket100 Mon 15-Feb-16 20:12:45

Thanks everyone! I think I may opt for Haywards Heath.

LuckySantangelo1 Mon 15-Feb-16 20:17:18

I gave birth at Haywards Heath last year and can't recommend it enough. Great experience. I had all my scans done at Brighton & found the hospital chaotic and crowded.

PollyPocket100 Mon 15-Feb-16 20:17:49

Sorry lyn, didn't mean to ignore your question there!
I've been told and read online that there's very little support on the postnatal ward (completely understand what you're saying about them being stretched). I've had two friends who wanted to breast feed but ended up being given little to no support with it and ended up bottle feeding.
I've also read that the door is often left open so visitors (potentially unwanted visitors) are able to roam in and out easily. That's quite a big concern for me due to some family issues unfortunately.

lynholmerpark Mon 15-Feb-16 21:22:36

Brighton I believe have other support staff as well as midwives to support you with breastfeeding but the busyness of any unit will impact on this. Keeping your own visitors to a minimum whilst in hospital will help with this though. Rest assured midwives will want to help you as much as they possibly can. There's a good deal of support in the community too and the early days/hours are more about plenty of skin to skin. Maybe try some hand expressing in late pregnancy - your midwife should be able to give you more information about this.

In terms of unwanted visitors, you need to ensure the midwives who care for you are aware of this. Most units are 'locked wards' meaning that people have to press a bell to gain entry and have to disclose who they are and who they are visiting before being let in so I hope that's put your mind at rest a little.

PollyPocket100 Mon 15-Feb-16 21:32:08

Didn't think of giving hand expressing a go beforehand. Thanks for that lyn!
I read online that the door was often left open or visitors weren't being asked those questions and were just being 'buzzed' straight in particularly when the ward was busy?

lynholmerpark Mon 15-Feb-16 21:52:51

Glad to help polly. Definitely worth giving it a go antenatally but check with your community midwife about when she recommends to start. If you express colostrum you can freeze it in advance and give it to baby when they are here if baby is a slow starter to the breast.

I'd call the Unit direct if I were you to express your fears about the visiting situation. Most units have a postnatal ward lead so they would be your best bet.

vroc81 Mon 15-Feb-16 22:57:43

A friend was diverted to RSCH from PRHH recently to give birth and only has great things to report so I guess it depends on who you speak to and if you happen to arrive in a busy spell.. Suspect this might be the same anywhere.. Have you checked out where you should be able to find numbers etc to talk to people about your concerns etc and all the (obviously biased as it's written by them) information but does shed a bit more light on at least what they aim for..

dats Mon 22-Feb-16 21:38:43

I gave birth at the RSCH and couldn't fault my care from start to finish. I was well looked-after at every stage, including things like letting me stay overnight in the delivery room with my partner on a mattress on the floor (he was on the mattress, I wasn't!). It was busy but didn't feel chaotic and I would happily go there again for this one (20w) but have moved further away so I'm considering a homebirth.

Bythepath Mon 22-Feb-16 21:57:34

I have many friends who have had good experiences there although It is very busy, especially compared to PRH and apparently does close quite a bit.
I have had all my 3 at PRH which I cannot fault. But I know 2 people who had bad experiences there and opted for RSCH for their next births.
Parking is a nightmare, my DC 2 was in the Royal Alex Children's hospital a lot as a baby (fabulous hospital) and it is on the same site as RSCH.

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