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Giving birth at the Whittington Hospital

(27 Posts)
pacita Fri 21-Mar-08 17:52:23

Hello to all,

I am entering the 4th month of my pregnancy and finally managed to penetrate the NHS system. I chose the Whittington hospital for midwife care (after having heard horror stories from the North Middlesex and Homerton) and they only now have sent me an appointment letter.

So, in the light of how long it's taken them to even give me an appointment, I'm getting a bit worried about their efficiency.

Could someone who has given birth at the Whittington in the last year or so let me know their views? I would really appreciate some advice, as I really don't know where to turn other than private care - which is not my preferred option.

Thanks in advance,

p

peasoup Fri 21-Mar-08 18:10:53

You can these days choose any hospital you wish, I believe. i lived in Islington but went to ChelseA and Westminster.

ScarletPimpernel1976 Fri 21-Mar-08 21:27:59

I know a few people who have given birth there recently (and I was born there!) - some positive and some negative experiences, but nothing terrible. I don't think its any worse really than other inner city hospitals, you just have to be willing to be a bit pushy to ensure you get the care you want. Their homebirth team are meant to be good - you get your antenatal visits at home (I didn't with UCLH) and they try to give you the same midwife for the birth.

BTW, there is a really good accupuncturist called James Mutkin who runs a maternity acupuncture service at the Whittington...well worth a visit if you get the chance.

digitalgirl Fri 21-Mar-08 21:37:43

Hi Pacita I answered your post on the Haringey board.
link here

Are you due in September too? There's a due in Sep on the Ante-Natal boards if you fancy joining us.

DG smile

syirin Tue 07-Oct-08 22:20:10

Hi All - I am due in 2 weeks and currently with UCH. I have to say the antenatal check-ups I've had with them had been excruciatingly long - the last time I went for my AN appointment we had to wait for 2.5hours! Plus, after reading this thread I am sceptical on giving birth there and I am thinking on transferring to Whittington - do you think it's a good idea?

JoIvor Sun 12-Oct-08 21:44:52

Hi,
I'm waiting on a letter from the Whittington too. As Pacita says, any feedback about the Whittington very welcome!
Jx

hellyberry Sun 12-Oct-08 22:17:17

i didn't give birth at the whit (had a march baby, ds2, this year) but i did have a popped ovarian cyst at 20 weeks. emergency admitted to an antenatal ward on a saturday morning. dire. didn't have ultrasound available...for me or the 2 women with suspected ectopic PGs shock. tried to insist i had D&V, despite lack of either diarrhoea or vomiting! i told them i wanted antibiotics because it felt like an ovairan prob i had 15 years previously. I left Monday evening, got ultrasound at UCH the next day. yep, poppsed cyst.

as pp said, antenatal clinic at uch in state of meltdown, huge waits. but they did have a good endocrinolgy/obstetric-medical crossover clinic which was reassuring for my thyroid issue.

but was getting very anxious at complete abscence of continuity of care except for this thyroid clinic. by 35 weeks, booked an indy midwife. brilliant, best decision ever, but cost a lot. had a homebirth instead, with a few days in uch afterwards for babies jaundice. i would chose uch over whit for actual birth if chosing again, as the inpatient teams at uch seem far less burnt out than the whits. plus they seem to be able to staff ultrasound machines OK!

have come to the conclusion it's a choice between lesser and greater evils. all these places are too busy. you must follow your instinct to be as comfortable with your choice as possible. my head screamed no to independent care, but my panic insisted and won! i hope this isn't a complete downer, but it was what i found. and that's the key -its only my experience - i've heard other people sing the praises of the whit.

waitinggirl Mon 20-Oct-08 11:52:07

am due at the Whit in December. have found, on the whole, the care and a/n appts at the whitt to be really good. (also m/w appts v quick - am generally seen within 10 mins). have a tour of the labour ward, and make your own mind up.

oops Mon 20-Oct-08 11:56:10

Message withdrawn

elkiedee Mon 20-Oct-08 12:12:32

The op presumably had her baby some time ago - pacita, if you're around, where did you go and how was it in the end?

I was booked in to the hospital through my GP, and have found them pretty efficient at giving me appointments when needed, now in 2nd pregnancy, and have needed some extra appts.

Whittington is 2nd nearest to me but much easier by public transport than North Mid as we don't have a car - bearing in mind antenatal appointments, dp having to accompany me for induction, go home overnight, come back in the early hours, and then stay for over 24 hours leaving me and newborn ds to get some kip the next morning, then having to go home overnight and come back to us the next day again. Then we were readmitted for 8 days and had to have follow up appointments so hospital being easy for dp and my dad to get to by public transport really really mattered.

They have community midwife teams which do antenatal mw appointments at local health centres and children's centres, so although I've still had to go to the hospital for consultant appts, scans and extra tests, I can go to mw a few minutes walk from home. I've had one really long wait for an appointment in the first pregnancy but most have been within minutes of the scheduled time.

The concerns I do have about my care at the Whittington are not things I think another hospital would have done better.

jessyj Fri 13-Aug-10 16:27:49

I think the Whittington is wonderful! bad bad experiences at UCH

Freno Sun 16-Jan-11 13:09:17

These posts have been really insightful. I'm about to give birth this summer and would like to hear about any more recent postnatal experiences at the Whittington or North Middlesex? I'll be doing an elective c-section. My experience at UCH in 2007 was absolutely appalling but things may have moved on since then.

HandMini Sun 16-Jan-11 13:16:30

I am booked at UCH (c. 20 weeks at the moment) and although I would agree that it takes time to get appointments scheduled and the waits are long when you get there, the care so far has been attentive and reassuring. I have also heard good things about the availability of more senior staff on overnight/weekend shifts. So, I would say my experience so far has been good.

cardamomginger Sun 16-Jan-11 17:23:40

Hi,
Had DC1 at the Whittington at the end of Spetember 2010. Antenatal care was great as was the care I received both in the birthing centre and on the labour ward (transferred cos REALLY needed epidural). MWs were brilliant, docs were fab. I had a VB, so can't comment on the CS experience. And, God forbid you should need it, but the neonatal care is excellent. I ended up spending one night on the postnatal ward, which was HIDEOUS. It's one of those long Victorian wards where everyone is in a small cubicle with curtains. Noisy. Got no sleep. Not enough bathrooms and they were disgusting. MWs were fine and I felt looked after OK. But the environment was awful. When I had my tour round they mentioned the amenity rooms which are private rooms on the ward that you can reservce for 100. FAT CHANCE!!! All full up and even one of my friends who had had a c-sectionand whose baby had an infection was 4 days on the main ward before she got a side room. So don't bank on that. If we have another DC I don't know what I'd do - the care was great but I'd hate to be on that ward again...
Good luck!

Firawla Sun 16-Jan-11 19:03:24

I've booked into whittington, had other 2 @ uch (changed because this is nearer not because of any problem with uch though) but so far got the impression it is a lot smaller of a team and will get much more continuity of care from the midwifes rather than uch as mentioned does take ages for appointments, long waits, dont see the same midwife it tends to be lots of different ones. So i feel quite positive about whittington, also heard loads of good comments from people who have been in to have theirs there.

Cardamom long victorian wards as in like how many people?? uch had about 8 to a section so wondering if its the same or you're making me wonder if its more???

babynelly2010 Sun 16-Jan-11 19:34:28

I am currently booked at Whittington under Whittington midwife team.
My due date is in 2 weeks. I am planning to give birth at the centre but I have to get reviewed for that next week.
I selected this hospital for the same reason as this original post in 2008. North Middlesex hospital looked scary based on the reviews.
I must say so far I am not exactly wowed by the care at the Whittington. The sonographers were rude, midwifes are mixed bunch and very recently they have been really over booked. I was told at 34 week appointment that I will not have another appointment until 40 weeks because I ave a normal pregnancy and there are many sick women around. I had to really argue and was able to get an appointment for 37+ weeks, not 36 and then 38 as my notes state. I shared my concern about over crowding and no time for my appointments with one of the MWs, I told them I was worried about what will happen at the time of delivery as at this time they certainly don't look like they have time to care for me... She assured me that everything will be fine and they will safely deliver my baby. I'll update you in 2 weeks but truly if Whittington is the best that can be offered by NHS in London area I am scared to ask about what's going on in the other hospitals.
My hope is that they will really show their best during the delivery and I will have much better things to say about them.

Kirisox Sun 16-Jan-11 21:43:14

I'm 36 weeks with 1st baby and also under the Whittington MW team for antenatal care. I've been reasonably happy with the care, although I feel if I wasn't a proactive person perhaps things would have been different. I agree that it is currently very very busy and I've never seen the same MW twice, but my friend from Nct has seen the same one throughout so no idea why care so different for different people. I had to wait 2 hours for my most recent 34 week appointment, but care was good once I got in there! I have been seen twice in the maternity day unit for CTG and the MWs there have been fantastic, so kind. I have my birth centre assessment on Wednesday and hope to be able to use the birth centre. I'm happy to update post natal if it would be useful.

SlightlyTubbyHali Sun 16-Jan-11 21:51:24

I gave birth there in 2009, and although ante-natal clinics are something of a zoo I really really rate the consultants (which is what counts when things get hairy). Saturday morning scans are v convenient, if you're in the area the community MW clinics can be handy. The birth centre is really worth a look too if you qualify to go there - they were willing to look after me for a VBAC but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

As for the pn wards, they are long and victorian, but there are lots of side rooms. I was given one after a cs - they're happy for you to go into one when you are mobile again. If you manage a normal birth I'd guess your stay would be pretty short (or several hours, but in the swanky birth centre) so being on a ward wouldn't be too horrific.

My friend had an elcs there last year and she really hated the PN ward but felt well enough to discharge herself after only 1 night, so not too much of a problem really.

babynelly2010 Sun 16-Jan-11 22:07:10

Hi Kirisox I am going in on Wednesday too for the assessment. I think my longest wait so far was about an hour. Early on I noticed that if my appointment is first thing in the morning than I will have short wait. Appointments after lunch usually means waiting up to an hour. I agree, being proactive really helps. I also forgot to mention that I got put over the edge with my 28 week blood work. It was taken by a skinny lady that usually takes urine samples at front. She took my bloods because they were overloaded. She was so nervous she actually screamed during my blood taken. My blood clotted and I had no results, then I had to retake bloods and another MW poked 5 times with no result. Very unpleasant time.
Birth centre looks nice though, I hope I can get in. Good luck on Wednesday!

cardamomginger Sun 16-Jan-11 22:55:20

firawla - don't know how many - but lots. Definitley more than just 8. I saw the same MW throughout, except when she was on annual leave right at the end of my pregnancy when i saw 2 different MWs. All the MWs I saw were fab and really lovely. The Birthing Centre is gorgeous. Just a shame that on the day it didn't work out for me.

Firawla Sun 16-Jan-11 23:02:56

oh okay, can imagine that getting quite noisy then. i found 8 okay. hoping to go in birth centre anyway, if all goes to plan, it sounds amazing

Kirisox Sun 16-Jan-11 23:31:33

Hi babynelly2010, that's a shame I have been quite happy with the blood letters, better than when I used to give blood anyway! Good luck to you too for Wednesday, my appointment is nice and early so hopefully not too long to wait...
TBH the worst thing about antenatal appointments for me now is how difficult it has got for me to get any wee in the sample pots blush

LLKH Mon 17-Jan-11 10:32:10

I had my baby at home with the Whittington homebirth team. They are absolutely wonderful. I saw the same midwife throughout my antenatal care.

They have coffee mornings on Wednesdays from 11-1 at the Finsbury Park cafe. I found that v. useful as I then met all the midwives(there are five) on the team. So, when my normal midwife wasn't on call when my DD decided to arrive, I knew the midwife who did come.

Also, we had trouble establishing bf and had to go into hospital for it. The care we had on the pediatric ward was wonderful without fail. The nurses were lovely and the consultant knew what she was talking about.

So I would go with them again.

ciab Thu 03-Mar-11 17:09:37

I am due next week, so far I've received care from the Homerton Hospital Team, I had reservations about the hospital from day 1. I initially asked my doctor if I could have my care transferred elsewhere, he recommended that I didn't, I heeded his advice and have had the worst care possible. Homerton hospital's culture is Disorganised, Unprofessional and Lacks Communication. At 34 weeks I thought about transferring my care to the Whittington, but decided it was too short notice, now with one week to my due date I'm reconsidering. This is my first pregnancy and I think the care I've received so far with the exception of a few individuals has been inadequate, is the care I should expect, should it be questioned? How did some of the midwives actually qualify as midwives?! The receptionists are by far the worst you will come across in the country. I would never recommend to the Homerton. So far reeviews of the Whittington have been better and more consistent than those of Homerton. I know with Homerton you can only stay, once you've had your baby for a maximum of 6 hours(providing its a normal birth) Can anyone tell me how long you stay for in the Whittington and what visitation hours are like??

ciab Thu 03-Mar-11 17:09:48

I am due next week, so far I've received care from the Homerton Hospital Team, I had reservations about the hospital from day 1. I initially asked my doctor if I could have my care transferred elsewhere, he recommended that I didn't, I heeded his advice and have had the worst care possible. Homerton hospital's culture is Disorganised, Unprofessional and Lacks Communication. At 34 weeks I thought about transferring my care to the Whittington, but decided it was too short notice, now with one week to my due date I'm reconsidering. This is my first pregnancy and I think the care I've received so far with the exception of a few individuals has been inadequate, is the care I should expect, should it be questioned? How did some of the midwives actually qualify as midwives?! The receptionists are by far the worst you will come across in the country. I would never recommend to the Homerton. So far reeviews of the Whittington have been better and more consistent than those of Homerton. I know with Homerton you can only stay, once you've had your baby for a maximum of 6 hours(providing its a normal birth) Can anyone tell me how long you stay for in the Whittington and what visitation hours are like??

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