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UCH or Whittington?

(41 Posts)
rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 13:39:54

Used the Royal Free last time - never again. Going for a homebirth this time but obviously need to choose which hospital I'd go to if necessary. From what I hear, UCH is generally good but dirty (esp. postnatal rooms); Whittington I've heard more mixed stories about. Currently inclined to go for UCH and brave the dirt ...


MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 13:44:11

Had 4 of mine at the Whit. Had wonderful experiences. It has my vote. The pre and post care (for me) was wonderful. hth

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 13:45:40

Thanks MarsLady! I remember going to look round when I had DD; found it a bit depressing and the postnatal ward a bit corridor-like, but at the end of the day I know from experience it's the staff that really matter.

MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 13:48:00

The actual building is old and looks very victorian, but the midwives were wonderful. The exterior didn't do much for me. I was in a private room and it was very ugly, but the staff were gorgeous. More than made up for the decor.

Debbiethemum Wed 29-Dec-04 14:02:27

Agree with MarsLady. I had ds (emergency cs) at the Whittington and the post natal ward was horrible & cramped the midwives were fantastic.
I had dd (elective cs) at the NorthMid, because I wanted that particular surgeon, the post natal ward was spacious the midwives were horrible and the food inedible.

HappyMumOf2 Wed 29-Dec-04 14:11:23

Message withdrawn

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:12:59

that is EXACTLY what I was going to post, post natal wards in Whittington = Crimean War standard but with no Florence Nightingale. Midwives made an effort but the auxilary staff were sadists.

You know the Royal Free maternity unit has had an overhaul recently don't you?

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 14:13:06

Hmm, confusing! That's 2 for the Whittington and 1 for UCH so far .....

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:14:01

HappyMumof2 agrees - the Whitt post natal is atrocious, it really is.

MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 14:16:19

still backing the Whit. Had the DTs there 10 months ago. Had wonderful team of midwives. Still, just my opinion.

HappyMumOf2 Wed 29-Dec-04 14:17:35

Message withdrawn

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:21:33

Seriously Marslady glad you have pleasant memories from the Whitt as I know a good number of the doctors and midwives really try and make an effort, and then there is the well respected Miss Henson there too. But I think the facilities and the morale of the aftercare is not fair. I was traumatised too after the second one, and I used to live a few hundred yards up the road from it too and shudder each time I went past, In fact I had to go and have a TVscan after six weeks because I was bleeding so much and I couldn't bear to step foot in the place and went to the Royal Free instead as an out patient.

Anyway enough about me, obviously it is your choice rouge and you may be lucky and get a good PN team and a private room

MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 14:24:03

sorry to hear about your experience Suzy

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:28:39

Ta ML, I really think the PN part should have an overhaul because it's not fair on all the effort the docs and good midwives make, it's a real shock.

Food is disgusting too.

However without the Whittington I would not have my two fragrant ds.s so really mustn't grumble.

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 14:36:01

Suzywong - yes it's only 11 months since I had DD at the Royal Free - the surroundings are fine and the Birth Centre is fantastic - I had to give birth on the Labour Ward and I won't go into the story but I will not be setting foot near the place again - it would catapult me back into post-traumatic stress!

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:42:43

I can understand your POV rouge, once you've had a bad birth experience it really somewhere it does make you want to gnaw your own arm off before you'd voluntarily return.

Look you may have a positive experience at the Whitt, Miss Henson is one of the best Obgyne consultants in the country, it's just the aftercare that is so hit and miss.

What do your community midwives think?

MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 14:44:00

Miss Henson was my consultant. You learn something new all the time. I can boast about that now. Thanks Suzy

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 14:45:33

When were you in ML, we may have passed each other in the corridors? I was in april 2001 and sep 2003

MarsLady Wed 29-Dec-04 14:46:49

We missed each other completely. I was in Oct 1994, August 1998 and Feb 2004. Miss Henson was wonderful each time.

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 15:06:04

Havent talked to anyone about it yet suzy - only did my preg test last night! Just thinking ahead Hoping to get an independent midwife this time (I've started a separate thread on this)

bakedpotatohoho Wed 29-Dec-04 15:07:53

rouge, whereabouts do you live? i am around the corner from the Whit and as a result have the most rarefied antenatal care imaginable... a community midwife, really nice, who has visited me at home from the first appt. i've only had to go in for scans and early bloods.

she promises me there is a very high chance -- around 70 pc -- that she will actually deliver this baby. if not her, her partner, and if not her partner then one of the 12 or so midwives on her team. i am also able to call her at any time and she says when labour starts she will -- get this -- come and see me at home/measure me etc and give me guidance about when to go in. then as long as it's not a 24-hourer, she will stay with us for the duration of the labour. this blows my mind. it does sound too good to be true. i'll find out the truth in early feb.

there are apparently maybe 6 similar teams of commuinty midwives in the UK, and this is a new system, just introduced -- maybe a year ago?

i had dd at Royal Free 3 yrs ago. ghastly. no real support during labour, which went unexpectedly fast and because i was written off as inexperienced 1st timer and left to get on with it on my own, i ended up going the whole hog w/o any pain relief (birth plan? they didn't take a look at it. at one stage, i was even told to lay off the gas and air 'as you'll be needing that later' -- this was at the time when i must have been dilating furiously), and frankly sadistic night staff on ward afterwards.

the whit is dirty and horrid but to counter that, the only thing me and DH actually needed during DD's delivery was continuity of care, ie someone in attendance who was slightly interested in us and knew roughly what we wanted. the rest can go hang. and if a crisis emerges, i know from another experience during this pregnancy that the Whit has amazing specialists up its grubby sleeves.

rouge Wed 29-Dec-04 15:12:53

bp, I'm in N1 - but planning to go with an indep midwife for home birth so will only have contact with the hosp if something goes wrong. Thanks for the info though - the antenatal care you're getting does sound amazing!

SuzyWongMerrilyOnHigh Wed 29-Dec-04 15:20:15

baked potato, I am very very nosey, where abouts round the corner from the Whitt? (don't worry I won't be stalking you )

bakedpotatohoho Wed 29-Dec-04 16:16:37

rouge, do ring the whit/your gp and find out if you're in the catchment for the scheme, the community midwives do homebirths too and i know my mw would have loved for me to have gone for one. save yer pennies if you can.

SW, i'm across the road. off highgate hill. whereabouts were you?

sibyl Wed 29-Dec-04 17:03:53

Just a thought but if you sign up for something like antenatal yoga at the active birth centre on Bickerton Rd you will meet lots of other like-minded Mums (and some magnificently mad ones) and get a measure of current local opinion on hospitals. New mums come back with their babies to give a talk on the birth etc and some old-timers are on their third or fourth kids.
ABC is expensive (I think about £11 a go and that was nrly 2 yrs ago) but I thought worth it for the relaxation (and tips).
UCH for me, I recommend it to everyone. It;'s also (the midwives told me) much less busy in terms of numbers of births than the Whittington and Royal Free - many people discount it because of lack of parking and central London location. I was the only person in labour both times I was there !

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