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Deciding on a hospital around Brighton

(22 Posts)
babyignoramus Mon 28-Jul-08 18:27:28

I'm only 10 weeks so this is kind of early but my midwife has aksed me to decide which hospital I'd like to give birth in. I'm pretty much decided on Royal Sussex County in Brighton as I don't drive and it's the nearest to me. But now I'm worried as I've heard a few horror stories! I've no doubt that nearly every maternity ward will produce both good and bad reports but would like some reassurance...... anyone care to share their experiences of hospitals in this area??

goodasgold Mon 28-Jul-08 22:21:27

One of my colleagues lives in Brighton and she had her baby at the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, maybe check that one out?

thisisyesterday Mon 28-Jul-08 22:25:55

you'll hear horror stories from whatever one you pick, trust me.

I have heard good stuff about RSC in Brighton.

Princess Royal is ok, but have heard a few horror stories from it (better than east surrey though, but you wouldn't be travelling that far)

Worthing is supposed to be very nice, a friend was recommended it by her midwife.

but tbh, if RSC is the easiest to get to i'd go with that.

thisisyesterday Mon 28-Jul-08 22:26:29

Princess Royal is a pretty long journey from brighton

ShePeeTeePee Tue 29-Jul-08 08:50:36

On face value Brighton looks pretty awful - tatty, dreadful congestion and parking problems at peak times, a nightmare to find your way around. That said there is a lot of expertise in that hospital and I've only heard good things about the standard of care. I've also heard that it is where the ambitious doctors and midwives want to be placed because the special care unit there is so good. So even with a nice straightforward delivery you should have good motivated staff.

I've had a baby and some after-care (different baby) with Princess Royal and personally it would never be my first choice again.

I am under the impression that Worthing is good - but that's only a vague on the 'grapevine' type feeling.

I'd visit Brighton, if only so you can work out how to get to maternity. It's a bit complicated and I wouldn't like to try and navigate it for the first time while in labour! Maybe see Worthing and Princess Royal as well so you can judge what feels right for you.

babymt Tue 19-Aug-08 20:23:20

Hiya! I gave birth twice in RSCH and as a hospital goes its ok. Its cleaner than PRH and seems better equipped as its a high dependency thing. I kinda think they're letting PRH slide to give them more leverage/argument on the "lets shut it down" side. But thats just my opinion

My experiences of the labour ward was pretty good but my care on the antenatal and postnatal wards was neglegable. They haven't got enough staff to cope with the amount of women in there. Both times I was in there (on both wards) there were only 2 midwives looking after a full ward of mothers/expectant mothers and they were run off their feet. I was left weak after a pph last time and dirty and couldn't have a shower as it was broken and no-one came to help me get to the toilet so you can imagine what happened

Theres a lot of negative press going on about the RSCH and PRH (Sussex University Trust) at the mo. They're up to 35% cs rate which is inexcusable. The instrumental rates rather high too. I think thats the downside of having so many consultants around and it being a learning hospital they tend to be a bit scapel/ventouse happy sometimes. And its one of the highest MRSA hospitals in the country.

Worthing is supposed to be nicer but once again I've only heard that on the grapevine.

What about using the Crowborough birthing centre? I know its a bit of a trek but its supposed to be quite nice. I know of one lady who went up there and had a good birth.

You may well make a choice for a specific hospital but be aware they sometimes shut their doors and send you packing to a different one anyway.

Do they still do hospital tours and antenatal classes?

Next time I'm having a homebirth with an independent midwife but my transfer (god forbid that happen) choice will be the RSCH and not the PRH (I live near Burgess Hill so in between the 2). So I guess its the better of the 2 in my mind.

Sorry I've not been more positive, as you can tell I'm a bit raw from my births. I think if you have a straightforward labour and birth your best of out of hospital as soon as you can and at home where you'll get the best care.

So labour ward, midwives, some of the consultants = good. Post natal and ante natal wards = bad.

Mandy73 Wed 20-Aug-08 16:57:24

I have heard good stuff from friends who gave birth at RSC in Brighton lately. Although a few years back I think it was not great. The emergency CS rates were quite high. Not v clean or new but good expertise and aftercare.

With Worthing it's more of a mixed bag from what I hear - some good experiences, esp complication free water births, some horror stories. But I suppose you get that everywhere.

Good luck!

strawberryfields Sat 23-Aug-08 22:07:23

Not PRH its dreadful.

policywonk Sat 23-Aug-08 22:13:00

It makes me sad to hear that the PRH is on the slide - I had both my boys there (5 and 3 years ago) and had wonderful experiences both times.

If you're at all inclined, MWs in Brighton are (or at least, they were until 3 years ago when I last had contact with them!) very supportive of home birth.

thisisyesterday Sat 23-Aug-08 22:18:30

babymt, if you ahve a homebirth and need to be transferred you will get sent to whichever is closest. (and presumably whichever one the ambulance comes from) you won't get a choice in the matter.
where do they normally send ambulances out from to BH?

sorry to go off on a tangent! Crowborough Birthing centre is really lovely. i'd have gone there if I hadn't had my homebirth

majormoo Sun 24-Aug-08 19:29:04

I had my son at RSC nearly 2 years ago and had a really good birth. Midwives were fantastic-my son's shoulders got stuck on the way out but this all dealt with very calmly. Post-natal care was pretty non-existent though (but this was my second when they pretty much leave you to it.) I am due to have another baby there in December and have am perfectly happy to go back. Views from labour ward are great.

Crowborough looks lovely though I don't know anyone who went through with having their babies there as it is a long drive.

cmotdibbler Sun 24-Aug-08 21:53:09

Crowborough is gorgeous (I was booked there but DS was prem so couldn't go) - my doula said that every birth she'd done there was fab.

I had DS at PRH. It was pretty grim tbh, and you have to be aware that they don't have paediatricians there all the time, and the SCBU is therefore also pretty limited. Although not dirty, the level of care on postnatal was low, so I didn't get clean sheets all week..

Spink Wed 27-Aug-08 21:12:14

I had ds at RSCH 10 mo ago, and found the actual labour bit great, the mws were very supportive and when we had to go into theatre with complications late on, the theatre team were incredible, made both me and dh feel as relaxed and cared for as possible.

Post-natal wasn't great, I was in for 2 nights, and feels like I never saw the same mw/paed/consultant/anaesthetist twice.
On the plus side, post-natally - It was pretty clean, and one of the nursing assistants ran a bath for me, and cleaned it afterwards <boak> which was lovely of her. Another mw took ds and rocked him for a couple of hours in the night so I could get some sleep. And they turned a blind eye to dh staying (quietly...) past the end of visiting hours on the first night, when I was too sore to get up!

I hope to have a homebirth this time (20 weeks pg at the mo) but won't be too bothered if I need to transfer in - we're across the road from RSCH so prob would be there.
This time I know that it was the mums asking for help that got it, and make notes of my own about what they said they would do as the staff didn't seem great at communicating to eachother about my care.

Another good thing - if your bean (god forbid) needs any extra special attention, RSCH is the hosp in the area with all the expertise.

Good luck - and enjoy!!

pollyanna Wed 27-Aug-08 21:18:43

I had ds2 at rsch 4 months ago and it was fine - in fact I was impressed as I had my other children at an inner London hospital!

Postnatally I was ok as I paid for an amenity room (still shared a bathroom though).

I thought it seemed very clean - but I was there just after a very deep clean. I was also impressed with the midwives too- although I was only there 6 minutes before ds2 was born! (I did have my antenatal care there too though). Overall I class this as a positive birth experience, but it was my 5th baby, so I knew what I wanted and didn't ask for (or get given for that matter) any breastfeeding advice.

Have you thought about a homebirth?

pollyanna Wed 27-Aug-08 21:20:34

Spink, while I was there the midwives were walking babies around in the middle of the night too - I was most envious of the lucky mothers getting some sleep as I was walking around with my baby too!

And also my dh stayed outside of visiting hours - but I was in a private room.

ataraxis Wed 27-Aug-08 21:41:58

I had DS1 at Crowborough (5 years ago now shock). It was fantastic, the MW were great and having only a few beds (of which, I think 3 were occupied at the time) felt very relaxed. I realise it might cause transport difficulties for you but would highly recommend it from my experience.
PS - When I looked around the Royal Sussex I came out in tears...

DumbledoresGirl Wed 27-Aug-08 21:46:24

I had my fourth baby in Worthing Hospital. Having had experience of giving birth in 2 other hospitals, I would say it rated pretty well, but, as I was on my fourth baby, I did not need much support getting through the birth and certainly didn't have any medical treatment.

Where I lived, the 2 main options were Worthing and Princess Royal and both were equally popular although I have heard bad things about PR.

If I were you, I would probably stick with the Royal Sussex as it is nearest for you and certainly does not seem to have a bad reputation.

RosieStrachs Thu 11-Sep-08 22:43:23

Does anyone know where I can get the video of the maternity unit at the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath? We were told we couldn't look round the maternity ward for health and safety reasons - but to get the vid from the library. Our library didn't know anything about it - then we were told it was going to be on youtube from this week - can't see it up there. Will check again with midwife but any pointers welcome - want to see where will give birth! Thanks

I had DD in PRH nearly 2 yrs ago and had no complaints. Admittedly I never stayed overnight but the midwives and after care from there were great. Back then it was Brighton Hospital that was classed as "dirty". Shame if PRH has slipped.

Rosie - you could try the local NCT (website here) see if they have a video. Long shot I know

Asclepius Sun 21-Sep-08 11:11:35

I am a staff member at both the PRH and RSCH sites within the maternity services, and I'd like to put a few points forward-not because I am trying to defend what appears to be negative sentiment, but because perhaps that will give you another opinion to use when deciding. Indeed, different women will all have different experiences because their cases are different, so their decision-making choices may not be right for you.
One salient point that seems to come through a lot is the lack of midwives on ante/postnatal ward at PRH. This has recently been addresssed (since it isn't just a perception, it has been true)by the employment of 10 extra midwives. As staff and expertise go, the staff rotate between RSCH and PRH, so anyone feeling that one unit is more expert than another, has perceived it that way, but it isn't true. Generally, in my opinion, PRH is cosmetically and architecturally a more pleasant place to deliver (although it seems that not everyone feels that way)- while the RSCH is an older building with more complex access issues. The bottom line really is that PRH has had a lot of 'closure' press because, amongst other reasons, not enough women deliver there. Anyone arguing for closure is quick to publicise negative comments, and those in support of PRH maternity services remaining are quick to put touching stories about PRH in the paper. This adds to the confusion of women throughout the county. Because of this, some women, unlike yourself, who ARE within the catchment area of PRH, chose to deliver elsewhere, and so it has more recently become a 'use it or lose it' argument. For the forseeable future, PRH is open for business, but the more important aspect for yourself is that you don't actually HAVE to decide right now. You can be booked at one, and decide later to deliver at another (don't know if that's helpful). I would say that if Brighton is closest to you, you might as well go there. Personally, I'd go to PRH, but that's my personal choice, having seen all there is to see at both hospitals.

ronshar Mon 22-Sep-08 19:50:38

The ambulances dont come from a hospital. Each town has a station of its own. Also the ambulance will take you to where you are booked if possible unless it is a medical emergency then nearest one will do.
However if emergency for baby then RSCH is often the first choice.
Persnnally I would go to Worthing. Staff there mostly nicer than Brighton.
Speaking as a mother and ex ambulance personnel in Brighton.
Hope that helps a little.

ronshar Mon 22-Sep-08 19:52:42

Sorry really bad grammer and spellingblush.
Really should double check my posts.

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