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Portland Hospital views please?!

(47 Posts)
Jo200 Tue 03-Jul-07 09:29:11

Hi there, I am new to Mumsnet and thought this would be a great place to get some info on the Portland. I had my son at an NHS Hospital in Enfield (Chase Farm) two years ago and after a very traumatic birth and eventual emergency c-section follwed by heamorraging and a catheter for 7 days, I swore I would NEVER go back. Oh yes, they almost removed my uterus too! I was told the day after that I should not give birth naturally - you don't say?!

I am now pregnant with baby no.2 and due in 3 months. Thankfully I have private health care that covers private maternity care for c-sections that are medically necessary and was recommended the Portland. I have heard good and bad about it but really wanted to have some first hand input from people that had their children there. I have been recommended to Ms Claire Mellon who seemed very nice when I met her but any info anyone could give me would be great. I am very apprehensive about this birth as you can guess by my question. Help!!!

OP’s posts: |
SweetyDarling Tue 03-Jul-07 09:47:01

Hi there,
For a planned c-section I would think it owuld be great. Probably the only private option you will be able to book into anyway, this late in the game. I booked into the Kensington Wing at C&W when I was 12 weeks and got the very last spot available!

Judy1234 Tue 03-Jul-07 09:47:57

I know someone who gave birth there and she thought it was great but I haven't been myself. Good luck with it and good for you to have another baby. I always think it's a shame when people are put off having number 2 because number 1 was terrible to have although I can understand their position.

mozhe Tue 03-Jul-07 10:03:41

I've had 5 at the Portland ! and can thoroughly recomend it....including birth of twins at 32 weeks by CS.No complaints at all..everyone is lovely and you get nice,( though far from lux...),room and nice food...and people treating you very politely etc...definitely go for it especially as insurance will pay for it..( that was case for us with twins but not three previous normal births...but check your cover to see what is excluded...if anything ). Enjoy !

zookeeper Tue 03-Jul-07 10:07:22

But don't they just whisk you off to an NHS hopital if things go wrong?

margoandjerry Tue 03-Jul-07 10:09:03

I thought about the portland but I chose to go for the Landsdell Suite at St Thomas's because they have a massive special care unit for babies and the Portland don't.

As it turned out it was the right decision. My daughter was born a month early and I was glad to have had the emergency facilities on hand (though she didn't need them, fortunately).

Rooms are nice. Staff are attentive. Food still rather ropey but I wasn't really bothered about that. Oh and the recovery rooms are AMAZING. For everyone, private and NHS. Huge picture windows overlooking the Thames and Parliament. Really fantastic.

edam Tue 03-Jul-07 10:10:04

Google Portland and inquest. There have been two cases I can recall where women have died and the families have complained that it was due to sub-standard care. Have a look on the Healthcare Commission website - they inspect all hospitals and healthcare providers, private and public.

Personally, I'd want to check that they sorted out the crap midwife who 'cared' for one of the women that died and failed to notice that she was very ill. And I'd check out their rescus facilities and ask what they'd do if things did go wrong with you or the baby - do they have a SCBU staffed by qualified neonatal nurses, or do you get transferred over to the NHS? Personally I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole, but plenty of women do and seem to be happy with it.

Judy1234 Tue 03-Jul-07 10:46:16

Was that Laura Touche who died after giving birth at a private hospital because basic checks they do in NHS hospitals hadn't been done? We have an interesting difference in the UK than in some other places that the NHS can be better and safer sometimes.

goingfor3 Tue 03-Jul-07 10:51:46

The problem with private hospitals is that they do very few births so don't have the same amount if practice as an NHS hospital also they don't have as many staff. I would try to find a private place at an NHS hospital as they will be able to get more staff in if there is an emergency. I'm not suprised you want to try somewhere else after going to Chase Farm last time it really is one of the worse hospitals to give birth in.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Tue 03-Jul-07 10:58:09

The Portland is a womens and childrens hospital though. With a well established maternity unit.

I have however heard that the private wing of Quenn Elizabeths is better. Also safer if there are any complications.

Nath Tue 03-Jul-07 11:40:30

Haven't given birth there myself but the Lindo wing at St Mary's is supposed to be fantastic - its a private wing of an NHS hospital and friends that have birthed there all say its great.....

Not the cleanest tho but a leading maternity hospital which is important!

janinlondon Tue 03-Jul-07 11:45:16

Zookeeper - yes, they do.

Whoooosh Tue 03-Jul-07 11:47:07

Two of my midwife friends advised me to steer clear-for all the reasons mentioned here (and probabaly more).
However,it is late in the day and your options may be limited.
Good luck-really hope your experience this time round is better.

TheDevilWearsPrimark Tue 03-Jul-07 11:50:41

Nath oops, thats the one I meant.

edam Tue 03-Jul-07 12:01:30

Xenia, yes, Laura Touche was one of the people I was thinking about. Was it Laura who left newborn twins? So very sad and completely avoidable.

Agree Chase Farm appalling, not surprised you want to avoid, (and I know the guy who was their head of communications!) but would also agree with advice to investigate Tommy's, Mary's and Lizzie's.

Jo200 Tue 03-Jul-07 12:09:31

Thanks for all your comments. See what I mean about good and bad?? Everyone tells me it won't be anything like the first one and whatever happens it should be an improvement. I read the Laura Touche case and there was one other and it was down to substandard care. Good job I have a big greek family to hang around the hospital and moan at the staff if I'm not being looked after properly - everyone was scared witless last time. I've had great care this time around - all my ante natal at Chase Farm (I know I know) with a really great consultant who totally understood my decision not to go back there. I now have two Consultants, one NHS and one Private and I asked all the questions about what happens if things go wrong and they keep reassuring me. My options are definitely limited now but I was so put off by the after care at Chase Farm and the filth that I couldn't bear the thought of it. Definitely enough to put you off having another!! I was determined not to let my son remain an only child though. I will definitely let you know about my experience - good or bad!!! Fingers crossed for positive comments!

OP’s posts: |
Glimmer Tue 03-Jul-07 13:56:39

Hi Jo, I haven't given birth at the Portland but was there on the gynae ward for complications after NHS treatment of a mc and have had a very good experience. Am pg again and have considered to go there but I would like to have natural birth and have been told that they have a very high CS rate. Now this is probably good for you, because they have lots of CS experience. I have been told that John and Lizzie are great to give birth in, but had asked for hospitals that let you birth naturally, so do not know about special units etc. I'd go back to the Portland any time.

bundle Tue 03-Jul-07 13:57:18

Jo200, I had some figures emailed to me re: performance at the POrtland if you CAT me I'll forward them to you if you like

trippleshot Tue 03-Jul-07 14:05:57

I had my son at the Portland in Feb of this year by CS for medical reasons. The care was second to none. I had been transferred from the John and Lizzie - who are in my mind now totally crap. It is a specialist hospital, so people saying that it's unable to deal with emergencies are talking shit. There are over 300 consultants linked to it and available to you if needs be. There were complications with my pregnancy at the end and the possibility of neo-natal problems once my son was born, but the hospital was equiped to deal with that possible eventuality. Only in very extreme and rare cases are either mother or child transfered to the NHS. I paid for this myself, it think it was worth every penny.

Jo200 Tue 03-Jul-07 14:15:07

I'm so glad I joined this now!! Feel so much better. Its always difficult to know whether you are making the right choices and some people I know have frightened me off by the whole 'NHS facilities' issue. The one thing that keeps striking me is that if all these rich and famous people go there, The Portland must be doing something right??? Equally though, no hospital is perfect and they all have problems - its just that the NHS ones seem to be a hive of bacteria and bad care at the moment.

Bundle - I have sent you a message for those figures. Much appreciated thanks. Hopefully you will receive it soon.

OP’s posts: |
Judy1234 Tue 03-Jul-07 18:39:38

If you want to pay and didn't have your complications then I think my option was nicest - private midwives at home, all ante natal care at home etc. but I accept that you're an entirely different case. The private hospitals have high C section rates which is exactly what you need in your case but not what a lot of mothers want in fact particularly those who might be able to pay.

SweetyDarling Wed 04-Jul-07 10:07:31

But Xenia, those cs statistics are skewed by the fact that (like the op) many women only go to private care to have a cs. Also in private care you can choose to have a cs without any difficulty, so not really fair to compare private to NHS.

SweetyDarling Wed 04-Jul-07 10:09:10

Jo200 - have you called around all the private wards in NHS hospitals? You never know, you might get lucky. Then you get th ebest of both worlds.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 04-Jul-07 10:09:29

My issue with the Portland is that they don't have a ITU, but do CSes. If you have a complication from the CS, you have to get in an ambulance and go elsewhere!

I'm sorry, but if you want a CS with private care, go for a private wing. Much safer, much closer to the big help.

edam Wed 04-Jul-07 10:10:45

Rich and famous people aren't necessarily any better informed about medicine or midwifery.

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