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Choosing a Maternity hospital (North London)

(12 Posts)
CherryBlossom2017 Fri 07-Apr-17 15:11:10

Dear everyone,

Can you help? Just found out that I am pregnant (GP calculated about 5 weeks) and I am trying to find a hospital for self-referring for my first appointment with a midwife. My GP suggested that the three hospitals that are nearest are the Whittington in Archway, the Royal Free in Hampstead and the UCLH in Euston.

Do you have any experience/can you recommend any of these three (for my antenatal care/appts and then delivery)? And do you have any experience of the birth centre of any of these hospitals?

Or...is there another hospital that you can recommend, that is not miles away from these places?

Any help/advice highly appreciated! Thanks so much! x

silverfishlondon Fri 07-Apr-17 18:49:58

Ive had 2 children at whittington. (Chose it because of the cat logo !?) . ive been through the works- midwives, home birth planning, induction, pool, birth centre, labour ward, consultants, birth reflections thing, perinatal mental health team (which not all hospitals have) , vbac workshop, 2 emergency c sections ( one being very complicated and difficult), recovery wards, post natal ward, neonatal intensive care... Basically theyve saved me and my daughters lives and i think they are great. Ask me any questions!
Post natal ward is just horrible and obviously theres going to be the odd person you clash with or says the wrong thing .

Vinorosso74 Mon 10-Apr-17 22:20:48

Another Whittington vote here. Although agree postnatal ward not so good (tho I think that is fairly typical wherever you are). However if you have a straightforward birth centre delivery and no issues with you or baby afterwards you can stay in your birth centre room until you're discharged and avoid it.
I've not heard any negative stories from Whittington and only one from UCH (out of a few people).
Ante natal appointments with midwife were handy as they use places away from hospital and nearer home eg. children's centres. UCH you need to go to the hospital.

babynelly2010 Tue 11-Apr-17 10:35:32

Dd1 was born in whittington but over 6 years ago. I had appointments at hospital and it was not great until they moved me to birthing centre team. It was good from there on. They also gave me acupuncture sessions from 38 weeks. I had complication requiring me to return to the hospital and they sorted all wonderfully.

One thing to watch out for... I had a second degree tear which I think was much more than that. After birth mw looked at it and said let me see if I can sort it out on my own without taking you to the theater.
That should of been a trigger for us to say no take me to the theater for the consultant to fix. All of my stitches came off and it is really not that great down there.

CherryBlossom2017 Thu 13-Apr-17 12:09:17

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply and for your thoughtful answers! I appreciate it. I was between the Whit and UCL and I eventually opted for UCLH, after discussing with a close friend who had her baby there and had also done a lot of research re hospitals. I've heard mainly good things about both these hospitals though with very few exceptions. I have my first appointment on April 30, so fingers crossed that it will all go wellsmile Thanks again x

ElleMcElle Fri 05-May-17 14:28:21

Hello CherryBlossom - hope all's going well! I've just found out that I'm pregnant and am choosing between Whittington, UCH and Homerton. I'd be really interested to hear about some of the factors your friend mentioned to you in choosing UCH? How did you find your first appointment last week?

Laurenina5 Tue 23-May-17 19:45:00

I'm 39 weeks pregnant and planning to have DD1 at UCLH. I've found UCLH to be an efficient but impersonal experience, I've usually seen a different midwife each time I have an appointment and don't expect to see any familiar faces when I'm on the birth unit. I have usually been able to book in when required however they are really busy and I am usually called in to the clinic room between 5-20 minutes later than the scheduled appointment time (my husband is unable to take such an unpredictable amount of time away from the office so stopped attending the appointments with me due to this). The blood test clinic is also always really busy and I've waited up to 50 minutes to see a phlebotomist, often due to the glucose test women who need blood taken exactly 60 mins after drinking the lucozade so get priority in the queue.

A friend recently had her DS at the Whittington and said it was a much more personal experience, it's a huge advantage not being in central London - using public transport to get to central London for a 15 minute appointment when heavily pregnant is a real pain, next time I'd go for a more local hospital - Royal Free is my closest and I've heard mostly good things.

LuchiMangsho Tue 23-May-17 19:48:14

I think seeing a different midwife and having to wait up to 20 mins is unfortunately par for course in an NHS London teaching hospital. I had mine at C&W and I was under a 'team' but saw a different midwife each time.

TriJo Wed 14-Jun-17 15:22:24

I live in Archway and had DS at the Whittington in the birth centre last March, 5 weeks with #2 and planning to go back again and hopefully use the birth centre again.

Itsjustaphase2016 Sat 24-Jun-17 04:34:18

3 dc born at the Whittington. The post natal care is absolutely horrific. Everyone I know who has babies around 2011 to now has said the same. Cold, uncaring midwives: i got actually shouted at 6 hours after my c section for my hair dangling in my baby's face. No one emptied my catheter bag and my DH had to do it in the end. No one arrived to remove my initial dressing for 5 hours and an auxiliary suggested my DH "did it on the shower" where he promptly pulled off half my skin, (I still have the scar). Overcrowded conditions, i spent the first night after c section in a corridor. When I asked for more morphine in the night after my c section the midwife told me no, as I hadn't had a c section. I said yes, I had, and she said "lift up your top, I need to see". Oh god it's really awful. Do UCH,please.

Misslemon01 Sat 14-Oct-17 22:34:03

I've found this thread really useful as I'm 12 weeks and choosing between UCLH and Whittington.

I've had all my appointments at UCLH so far and found it efficient, though agree phlebotomist is always overcrowded and you don't see the same midwife twice.

We live in Archway so are considering having the 20 week scan there to see what it's like. I haven't like the fact that I can NEVER get through to them on the phone so far, but they're so close...

Any further insights into UCLH vs. Whittington very welcome!

sThinking Tue 17-Oct-17 17:11:31

I’ve recently chosen UCLH. When I went to my first GP appointment I hadn’t realised I would need to choose. My doctor said that people who do lots of research pick UCLH... I decided to take his word for it!

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