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Moving out of London - change hospital or not?

(19 Posts)
mostimproved Wed 29-May-19 18:38:18

I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant with my second baby, living in North London, and my antenatal care is with UCLH. This is convenient for appointments as it is close to my work, and so far I have been happy with the care.

In a few weeks we are due to move to the Bicester area in Oxfordshire for my DH's work. It looks like the nearest hospital is the John Radcliffe in Oxford, and I'm trying to decide whether to change to this hospital or stick with UCLH.

Am I mad to consider having the baby in London still? I requested an ELCS at my booking appointment due to previous EMCS and was told that's all fine, it will be done at 39 weeks, no pushback or mention of VBAC. I am scared that if I switch hospitals, I risk some pushback about ELCS/having it booked in for 40 weeks and going into labour earlier. It will also be a pain to go to appointments as I will have to take a whole day off (will will be working in London).

However, I am concerned about having the baby in London and actually getting him all the way back home seeing as they shouldn't be in the car seat for more than 30 mins and it's about 1.5-2 hour's drive depending on traffic. Also, if I went into labour early whilst at home it would be a long journey to the hospital.

My gut feeling is stick with UCLH but I don't know if I'm being crazy - please talk some sense into me if I am!

OP’s posts: |
Clettercletterthatsbetter Wed 29-May-19 19:28:23

Not to scare you, but my second child was born at 38+4, and so quickly that I couldn’t even get to the hospital I was supposed to be at in London and had to go to the one ten minutes away instead (also in London). It was a faff as they didn’t have any knowledge of me (obviously) and the notes I had with me counted for absolutely nothing. Just worth bearing in mind in case you need to go to the JR urgently but are still booked at UCLH.

We’ve since moved to near where you’ll be moving to. The JR isn’t mega close to Bicester, but a lot closer than UCLH if you do go into labour earlier than 39 weeks.

I don’t mean to be negative - I can totally understand why you’d want to stay where you’re currently booked, but just wanted to provide another view!

orangeshoebox Wed 29-May-19 19:30:01

apart from the travelling to the hospital during labour - you will need to register baby where it was born. so that is another treck into the city.

mostimproved Wed 29-May-19 19:56:40

@Clettercletterthatsbetter that's exactly what I'm worried about! But then I am thinking what if I go into labour while still at work in London - then UCLH will be my closest and I will be annoyed if I'm not booked there anymore!

@orangeshoebox yes that is a consideration, although I have family and friends in London still so will end up around that area at some point in the first month or so anyway.

Still haven't decided!

OP’s posts: |
Mammatron Wed 29-May-19 20:49:48

What would you do about midwife visits after birth?

Annabel28 Wed 29-May-19 23:50:10

If it's any reassurance I gave birth at the JR last year and although my birth experience itself wasn't great the aftercare and staff were excellent. My son needed a spell in the neonatal unit and got great care. Because of the links to the university they have a lot of experts working there. People are right about distance from Bicester though - I used to commute from Bicester to central Oxford and it took 1.5 hours + in rush hour! Also parking at the JR is tricky.

jackliam Thu 30-May-19 06:53:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

sar302 Thu 30-May-19 08:32:06

I'd switch hospitals. You have another 18 weeks or so plus recommendations from consultants to get it sorted. If you go into labour early, Bicester to UHL is a very long way. Too long if you encounter any problems. And then you risk delivering at a hospital who know nothing about you and your history.

Weathergirl1 Thu 30-May-19 19:52:16

I'm not connected to the area but I seem to remember seeing somewhere on here that they are quite funny about ELCS at the John Radcliffe so you might want to do some research on that. I think there was a survey of all the birth centres done in the last 12 months that listed out this sort of thing but I can't remember the details. Good luck OP!

stucknoue Thu 30-May-19 20:00:02

When you change drs I think you will need to have a hospital within the ccg area. I would not want to be more than 45 mins from the hospital, second babies can come quickly and they may make an appearance prior to your scheduled section

annlee3817 Fri 31-May-19 12:11:26

There are other hospitals within a similar proximity to Bicester, one of which being Milton Keynes, similar distance but more cross country route to get there rather than fighting with Oxford traffic, just a thought

Iwouldlikesomecake Fri 31-May-19 20:50:10

I'd switch hospitals so that JR have a record of you and a plan and then if anything happens in London and you end up at UCLH they WILL have your records on the computer system, so it's best of both worlds really.

Postnatal care doesn't matter, you get seen by whoever covers your postcode regardless of where you give birth.

mostimproved Mon 03-Jun-19 10:33:05

Hi all, thanks for the replies! Yes you're right postnatal care will be fine either way - with my last baby we had him in London but stayed with my parents in Hertfordshire for 2 weeks so we just got seen by the midwives there and then referred back to the HV where we lived once we went back.

I hadn't considered Milton Keynes so will look into that as well - I will try and research their ELCS policy as I have also heard that JR are not keen on it, or at least don't make it as easy as UCLH do.

I am a bit worried about going into labour whilst still at work as I'm planning to work until 38 weeks, but I guess if that happens I'm at least in the system at UCLH now so could always go back there if I had to.

I think I will switch, now just need to choose the right hospital and find out how to actually refer to them!

OP’s posts: |
HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Tue 04-Jun-19 12:53:00


I was in a similar situation to you in that we moved during my second pregnancy. I chose to deliver at my original hospital though it wasn’t as far as your journey will be but the car ride was quite uncomfortable!

As it happens both of my DCs were born at JR and I couldn’t fault them at all.
I had an EMCS with number one and number two I was given the choice, no pushback at all.
Message me if you want anymore info about the JR specifically. (I’m quite new to Mumsnet so don’t know how to do that myself!)

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Tue 04-Jun-19 12:58:53

Oh also just read your previous post, I was booked in at both hospitals and made the choice when I was in labour where I would go so that’s always an option if you wanted to book in at JR in case you did go in to labour before the C Section you wouldn’t have as far to travel but if you make it to your c section date you could have that booked in in London if that makes sense?

10purplepansies Sat 08-Jun-19 08:07:42

Most improved I would email Wendy Randall at JR as they have a policy not to offer EC if no medical reason. But of course I don't know the details of your situation so may be totally fine. My advice would be to continue your care at UCLH and have the CS there but if you were to go into labour, you can rush to the nearest hospital....

10purplepansies Sat 08-Jun-19 08:08:45

Wendy Randall is the consultant midwife at JR (the decision maker) and will be able to advise on all aspects of your care and transfer..

peanutbutterismydownfall Sat 08-Jun-19 08:32:38

When are you moving? And when are you going on mat leave? If you end up on daily monitoring or something, you don't want to trek to UCLH every day.
We moved in the late stages of pregnancy. We didn't move until I went on mat leave at 37 weeks but intentionally rented somewhere from 34 weeks so I could start the GP registration process.

10purplepansies Sat 08-Jun-19 10:22:16

Also, I had my first son at UCLH and aftercare was not good. All individual members of staff were amazing but they were so overstretched and just didn't have the time or resources to get round to you, forgot to give drugs, missed checks, unchanged bloody sheets etc.. this was 2016 so I imagine they are even more stretched now. I would only go there for the CS..

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