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Private room in NHS hospital?

(21 Posts)
Nickname1980 Wed 24-Feb-16 21:09:59

This isn't my first pregnancy but I'm wondering if anyone has had - or has knowledge about - a private room after giving birth in an NHS hospital.

I don't mean a private birth, just a room.

My husband couldn't stay with me the last time I gave birth and I had a really tough time on my own that first night (breastfeeding issues, was a tricky birth, etc). I'm not mega-rich, so don't know if I could afford it, but would love to know if it's possible to book a private side room after the birth.

It will be UCH that I give birth in (probably - although not sure yet). It was super full last time, the wards were bursting. No chance of getting a private room without paying for one.

Anyone know the price of a side room? Anyone got an opinion over whether or not it worth it?

MimsyBorogroves Wed 24-Feb-16 21:18:11

My first pregnancy I was given a private room because of my job - people with whom I worked were pregnant, and I didn't want to risk coming into contact with them. Was free. Absolutely brilliant as I had my own shower/toilet and was relatively quiet (corridor noise the only exception) as well as the privacy factor. My partner at the time still had to leave at non-visiting times.

Second pregnancy in a different area I paid around £100 for a private room. It meant DH could stay with me overnight when my induction failed - he was given a blow up mattress. Unfortunately I couldn't return to it after labour due to complications meaning I needed ongoing midwife checks, but at least I had it for the afternoon of my induction, and got sleep overnight before labour started.

If you're in a position to pay, and you are unlikely to sleep with the noise of others around you, you're not expecting a high risk delivery etc then I recommend it. It's worth asking what the turnaround time is between giving birth and discharge too - it was 4 hours if the labour was straightforward for my second birth so wouldn't have been worth the money had I not had the failed induction.

Nickname1980 Wed 24-Feb-16 21:32:33

That's a really good point about turnaround time, MimsyBorogroves, I didn't even think about being discharged so hardly getting use out of the room. £100 is certainly doable though! Love the idea that my husband can stay and that we'd have our own loo and shower.

(I would secretly love to have an uncomplicated home birth in a birthing pool, then into my lovely bed straight after with my baby by my side and my family nearby... Oh, fantasies that won't come true! Lol!)

Junosmum Wed 24-Feb-16 21:40:31

When I gave birth 2 months ago, at a different hospital you couldn't book private rooms but I know you can in some hospitals.

I had a private room the second night. Even in private rooms your partner may not be able to stay, depends on the hospital though. A private room was nice.

In NHS hospitals though,even if you book a private room you may not get it - they are allocated on need, and if there is no-one in need then they aregiven to those who have booked.

Tallulahoola Thu 25-Feb-16 00:14:21

Private rooms at UCH are now £850 a night. You could fly to the Bahamas and have your baby in a five star hotel and it would be cheaper. When I had DD a couple of years ago it was £250. No idea why it's gone up so massively

elliejjtiny Thu 25-Feb-16 02:31:03

I had a private room for 4 nights when I had DS5. I had my own sink but not a loo or shower. Don't think DH would have been allowed to stay longer. He couldn't anyway because he had the other DC so we didn't ask. There was more room and more electrical sockets which was nice as I could have my electric bed, 2 jaundice lamps and my phone charger all plugged in at the same time. It was good having my own room but on the first night when the door was shut I kept hallucinating I was in a prison cell because of the morphine! I didn't have to pay, I got one based on need because my baby was premature, my 2nd premature baby. I cried to the midwife that I couldn't face being on the ward with no baby again and she sorted out a side room for me. I got kicked out when DS came out of scbu though and onto the main ward with a bed that didn't move. Was a bit ouchy having to manoeuvre myself in and out of bed without being able to raise the head end of the bed.

You might want to check the rules about private rooms before paying, things like can your partner stay and do you get your money back if you have to move back to the main ward because someone with an infectious disease needs the room.

Nickname1980 Thu 25-Feb-16 08:44:19

Whoa!!! £850 a night Tallulahoola?! That's definitely not an option!

If you don't manage to get one, but you've booked, presumably you get refunded, junosmum?

Looks like this private room idea isn't as straight-forward as i hoped...!

Junosmum Thu 25-Feb-16 14:53:51

Yes, you do get refunded.

CaptainKit Thu 25-Feb-16 15:00:33

When I had my hospital tour at Basingstoke they said the private rooms were £80 per night. I asked, after baby was born, if I could have one but they were all in use. Only ended up spending 26 hours on the post natal ward (one night), and there were only 3 beds, so it was ok. I didn't get a wink of sleep, but baby was on 2-hourly obs for the first night so I wouldn't have slept easily anyway.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 25-Feb-16 15:07:06

I most recently have birth last summer- private rooms were £150 per night, but no pre-bookable so you could only have one if there was one free on the day, as priority is given to those with high needs care.

Partners were not allowed to stay overnight either, but that will change from hospital to hospital.

With any luck you'll be in and out in a few hours and you won't need a bed at all smile

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 25-Feb-16 15:09:50

Crikey! Their website says £870 pet night! shock

Micah Thu 25-Feb-16 15:12:47

My mum offered to pay for a private room but I refused.

Mainly because m/w are so fucking overworked at least if I was in a ward someone would pass every so often and I could grab someone to help me. In a private room I was stuck unless someone answered the call bell, which often took a long time. Quicker if I just needed a drink or something, as I didn't have to wait for a nurse, I could ask a clerk, cleaner, trolley lady, next door's visitor, anyone.

I just felt happier and less alone with people about rather than stuck on my own.

Also those long hours of breastfeeding went past far quicker with Jeremy Kyle next door ;).

Lexipedia Thu 25-Feb-16 15:16:04

My hospital has them, but I didn't get one. They allocate them on need - women who need to be in them for infection control, women who have babies in intensive care, multiples - in that order. I had twins and didn't get one. Several rooms had infection control stickers on them. It was utter hell on the ward. I even asked for two cubicles so I could more easily manage two babies, but they were completely full. If I'd been a straightforward case, I'd have been wanting to leave within hours.

FoodPorn Thu 25-Feb-16 16:32:56

I had one at the John Radcliffe in Oxford for both of my children. It was £450 per night. Although it was expensive, tiny and very basic, I would do it again because it meant DP could stay and I really didn't want to be without him. I would have hated the lack of privacy on a ward (and the noise and shared bathrooms etc.).

AuntieStella Thu 25-Feb-16 17:08:53

The order in my hospital was a) those who had stillbirths and neonatal deaths b) infection control, c) those with babies in ICU d) certain other medical complications e) multiples.

The price for any left over is what they think people will pay, set high enough to dampen demand.

Pieface12 Thu 25-Feb-16 17:28:08

I went to the hospital but gave birth within the midwife birth centre, which was within the hospital but a separate area. I was given my own room with a TV and ensuite I was actually shocked at how nice it was, and it didn't cost me a thing!

Pieface12 Thu 25-Feb-16 17:28:33

Oh and DP was allowed to stay overnight with me. grin

TiredAndUninspired Thu 25-Feb-16 18:33:55

If you're low risk, consider having your baby on the birth centre - you'll get your own postnatal room if you have to stay overnight (unless it's completely full!). Your partner can always stay overnight in UCLH.

Tallulahoola Thu 25-Feb-16 19:44:10

From what I understand, they no longe do just ordinary private hospital rooms now at UCH. You get a posh room with midwife on hand as you would if you were paying for the whole private birth experience. It's an absurd amount of money

Nickname1980 Thu 25-Feb-16 22:34:59

I will definitely opt for the birthing centre if I can,but couldn't with my last two.

In fact, I'd have a home-birth if it was safe and recommended to me!!

I really didn't like being on the ward the last two times. My husband couldn't stay. I felt totally beaten up by the births and stressed by being on a ward where the babies around me cried all night (as did another mum). I just didn't think the after-care was good at all (but have nothing but immense respect for the overworked midwives at UCH). So I really want- this time- the comfort of my own room, where my husband can be with us.

But I can't afford to spend a major amount, which sounds like what it costs in some hospitals - eek!! (Especially UCH, the one I'll probably go back to). Sigh... I'll tell myself it's just a night or two!

Thank you for your answers! Keep coming with other experiences if anyone has any to share! X

TiredAndUninspired Thu 25-Feb-16 22:43:01

The Hometon have a great home birth team, you'll have your antenatal appointments at home/in the community, see the same team of midwives all the way through. I rate the Hometon, vastly improved over the last few years, many friends have had their babies there, home births and birth centre only, but all good experiences.

Post natal care is lacking in every maternity hospital I've been in unfortunately. But if your birth is uncomplicated and without epidural, they aim to discharge you by 6 hours at UCLH if it's daytime, so might have no need to stay over night.

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