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Queen Carlotte -- opinions of post birth care / facilities /rooms

(40 Posts)
Uwila Sun 13-Feb-05 17:15:41

I will be having a baby at QC at the end of may (hopefully by elective caesarean). I haven't toured the hospital yet. I was just wondering what other mumsnetters thought of their experiences there. Would you get a private room? Or, if you stayed on the ward, how many beds are there to a room? How bad was the food? (I think I'll put hubby on food delivering duty)

Thanks for your input! :-)

PuffTheMagicDragon Sun 13-Feb-05 17:21:46

It's all very new, so the surroundings were much better than a previous 60's built hospital I was in.

I can't remember how many women there were in each bay as I was transferred into a room after one night. The rooms are good, with a small bathroom in them. I can't remember much about the food, I was too ill to care!

Cristina7 Sun 13-Feb-05 17:48:44

PMD, what do you mean it's all very new? How new? I had DS there 5 years ago and it looked very old to me. We were in for 7 nights, in a ward with 4-5 other beds. The care was VERY good for us. Can't remember much about the food but there is (was?) a petrol station just over the road for emergency rations. There were private rooms too but only a few. There's also a pub nearby where they have a book where your DH can "register" the baby's name.

jane313 Sun 13-Feb-05 18:23:56

Cristina it was newly built in about 2001, moved from Chiswick to Action.

There were four bed in my room. I couldn't afford a private room so never looked into it. Food was ok but even the large portion was tiny. So I got in extra supplies. I think there is a canteen next door at Hammersmith Hospital. Post care was hit and miss. Some midwives were lovely, one was terrible, one was lovely to me but nasty to everyone else! I was near their station and they got (rightly) annoyed at women ringing the bell when all they wanted was some cotton wool or something and they had hundreds of visitors who could have got it! Breastfeeding help not great despite there posters everywhere and daily workshops. Very nice and clean though.

PuffTheMagicDragon Sun 13-Feb-05 18:55:42

Cristina - jane 313 was in the same place as me, I think you are referring to the previous building. Where I was was very new - honest!

Uwila, I didn't pay for my room - I was transferred there by the medical team as I became seriously ill and they didn't feel it appropriate to treat me on an open ward. I'm just thinking that I'm not sure if the room I was in is sometimes a private room that people can pay for, or whether it's specifically for emergencies. The ones you pay for may be posher!

cori Sun 13-Feb-05 19:06:49

I think there was about four beds per room. I remember it being overheated, and the first room I was in was very noisy. With lots of relatives everywhere. I had an emergency ceaserean and was not prepared for it mentally. I was in a lot of pain afterwards and felt I wasnt getting much support. I got very stressed out, and they eventually moved me to a quieter room. Also it was impossible to get any sleep, when DS slept I would be woken up by the other babies. I think I went home after two days, because I was exhausted and couldnt get any rest. I remember the nursing staff being pleasent. However the domestics were very rude. MY DH bought food in for me, but they wouldnt give cutlery etc.
If you can afford it go for a private room. Though I dont think you can book them in advance because they may need them for special cases.

Cristina7 Sun 13-Feb-05 19:50:29

All right, I get it now. So QCH is in a new building now. I kept hearing it was closing down and then hearing it being mentioned again and was confused. So they moved to a new building but kept the old name. I can totally relate to the breastfeeding support, almost non-existent 5 years ago, not much changed meanwhile then... It seems they've made the wards smaller, so that's an improvement. I'm going to Kingston Hospital now, it's so new and clean - very nice.

Uwila Mon 14-Feb-05 07:55:52


Uwila Mon 14-Feb-05 09:07:08

Surely more people have an opinion of Queen Charlotte (post the move to Acton).... BUMP

Uwila Mon 14-Feb-05 11:24:10

nobody else been to QC??

vivat Mon 14-Feb-05 12:47:15

I had ds in the old QC and dd in the new - i was in the midwife led unit though and was home 6 hours after the birth so can't comment on the ward, but I have nothing but praise for everyone I met there - great care

thedame71 Mon 14-Feb-05 18:14:24

Had ds2 at Queen Charlottes in 2002. Delivery rooms excellent, shower, toilet etc.. ensuite. (Instead of St Marys, waddling down the corridor to have a wee etc..)

My midwife was brilliant but it was so busy, they were very stretched.

After birth, had to stay in delivery room for 3 - 4 hours! No beds, ended up being put in Antenatal ward as had to stay in for 24 hours. Was 6 beds in room I think and got busy with more new mums as night went on.

Asked about private room but none available, have since found out they tend to go to people who have got ill or lost the baby.

Food crap but what do you expect, take lots of supplies!

Due to visit again any time soon, 37 weeks preg. If all goes well will leave after 6 hours - would rather be at home to recover if poss.

The main thing for me was the care and expertise I received during the birth - I thought it was excellent although they were so busy - which is why I am going back!

Good luck x

Uwila Mon 14-Feb-05 21:58:54

Thanks for the detail Dame. The more information I can get the better. I'm planning to have a caesarean, so the delivery room isn't such a big concern, but the time spent in hospital for the next 2 or 3 days is. With my first baby,I remember it was a real struggle to try and get up to get to the baby in the middle of the night. I had a private room. But, I don't know if I really want to spend the money this time. So my biggest concern is how many other screaming babies will be in the ward. I think if it's 4 beds to a room I could cope. But, any more than that I think I'll have to fork out for the private room...

Oh well, not due til end of may so if anyone else sees this please feel free to add to queen charlotte experience.

Oh, and yes I figured the food is probably terrible. DH will be on take away duty.

Azure Tue 15-Feb-05 13:40:45

I'm also following this thread with interest as I'm due to give birth at Queen Charlotte's at the end of August, very possibly having a caesarian. I had DS at C&W and the thought of being days in a similar ward with around 8 beds feels me with horror. How much are private rooms?

Uwila Tue 15-Feb-05 15:04:42

There are two varieties. The cheaper on is £150/day. There is another one that is something like £300/day and is on the private wing. I am only considering the ceahper one. All I really want is a door with ensuite shower and toilet. Don't want to liste to other babies crying. And don't want to have to struggle out of bed to loo in middle of the night after caesarean in front of seven other occupied beds.

But, if I stay in for say 4 or 5 days (God forbid!) that could add up to quite a bill. If I knew it was only 2 days, I'd accept the bill at £300. If it's like £1000 though, I think I'd rather suffer on the ward, and then go to Italy when I'm out.

Well, I'm ahead of you so I'll gladly keep you posted. Feel free to CAT me any time you like. I'm due end of May. When are you due? Begining or end of August?

monkeygirl Tue 15-Feb-05 15:33:27

I had dd1 in 2001 and ds in June 2004 at QC. Felt very new and pretty fresh still compared to the old building especially (went there for one scan). I was in a room the first time with 6 beds, which was quite noisy but actually it waas also nice to have some new mums to talk to. Second time there were 4 beds and one bathroom.

Some of the midwives were absolute diamonds, but found both times that they were a little too eager to offer formula when I was actually trying to breastfeed (first time I panicked cos it hurt so much and she cried constantly, 2nd time ds cried for quite a while and they gave him formula from a cup ). Agree that the food was crap (and I will usually eat anything!). Made my dh bring me a MacDs which I don't usually eat, but maybe that was something to do with my hormones. With ds I was discharged after a few hours (they kick you out after 3 days I do believe now after a cs, all being well) but, as the first time, it took ages to find a paed to give baby the once over.

But I think the hospital has a lovely atmosphere. Yes it is very very hot but isn't that usual???

I would most definitely opt to have another baby there again.

SofiaAmes Tue 15-Feb-05 22:59:30

Uwila, the food is bad in every hospital in the world!!!! I spent 3 days in a very expensive american hospital and had my friends bringing in food.
I did not pay for a private room, but since I had my dd on the natural birth floor, I ended up in one of their single rooms which are gorgeous. I had a post partum haemmorage so actually spent the first night in the regular maternity ward with all the high care patients which was fine, but noisy, but then got moved up to the birth centre.
My friend had her ds there recently and paid for one of the private rooms afterwards (it was about the same as the birth centre one that I had). I think she made the decision just after the birth and chose to move so that her enormous family could all visit all at once as the visiting hours and numbers of people are limited if you are in a room with other mums.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 15-Feb-05 23:49:23

I know that it's difficult to guarantee booking a private room at QC, it depends on whether any are available. A friend of mine wanted to book one and there were none available at that time. She had to wait until she had delivered to enquire as well, it wasn't possible to pre-book in any way.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 15:50:54

I think all hospitals run that last minute booking policy. It was the same at Epsom General. But, they gave me the room before I went down to delivery, which was nice cause then there was somewhere to put my stuff.

bluebear Wed 16-Feb-05 16:17:33

I had my second child at QC - Comparing it to the hospital I had my first baby at it was fantastic.

The operating theatre was very large, new and clean compared - the techniques used were modern and reassuring.

There is a high risk recovery area next to the op. theatre where you recover for the first few hours - very caring midwife in this area who offered help for bfeeding (didn't take her up on it as dd was a natural)

The post-natal ward had 4 beds per bay - was clean, and staff were friendly and helpful - I had enquired about what would happen if I had a section (first baby was section) and they said they had basinettes that clipped onto the side of the mother's bed so you can always reach your baby - but even without a section I was always offered help to lift baby when necessary.

The toilets/bidets/showers were kept spotless.

The food was not fab. but all hospital food is cruddy - it was not as bad as most hospital food (and I have worked in a few hospitals!) - one oddity was that it is ordered by whoever was in your bed the night before - so the first night in your bed you are given the choice of whoever was there before - but if you stay more than one night you can make your own choices - lots of different meal types 'halal, veggie etc'.
There is a sandwich bar downstairs if you can get a visitor to nip down and get you something.

Private rooms were only bookable after you had the baby and when I was there they were taken by mothers whose baby's hadn't survived the delivery (rightly so in my eyes)

I only stayed for 8 hours after delivery, but spent a night or two on the ante-natal ward.

If I had another baby I would choose to go there again, for the cleanliness and having the clip-on bassinette if nothing else.

foxinsocks Wed 16-Feb-05 16:31:58

I had my first at C&W and my second at the new Queen Charlottes. I must say the difference was extraordinary (I'm sure you'll notice it Azure!).

At C&W I was on a massive ward with one bathroom. At QC, I had a lovely ward of 4 beds with one large bathroom (and when I gave birth there was only one other person in there). It was so much cleaner than C&W. Rather than the see-through cots, they actually had the babies in proper mini wooden cots which looked lovely and so much more comfy.

I felt the wards were overheated but I've yet to visit a maternity unit which wasn't too hot for me!

As for the food, weirdly I didn't think it was that bad and the portions seemed large to me. Having said that, I did vomit through all my labour so perhaps I was so hungry, I didn't notice the quality of the food. All the staff seemed really helpful to me. As it was my second baby, I didn't really need that much help and to be honest, I didn't stay that long (I never really feel comfortable in hospital) but the whole experience was great. THey also made a super-duper fuss of dd when she came to visit me and ds in hospital which I thought was lovely.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 16:53:14

Does anyone happen to recall if the beds raise up electronically. This sounds dumb, but if you've had a caesarean the hardest thing is sitting up from lying back. In the states this is usual in ahospital. But they didn't do this in Epsom. I'm probably out of luck at QC as well, but thought I'd ask.

I have to say that so far the description of the ward doesn't sound too bad... I might forgo the expense of private -- or at least be reassured knowing that if all the private rooms are taken, it won't be too bad on the ward.

bluebear Wed 16-Feb-05 21:03:40

I think they were electronic - I seem to remember them clipping the control near my hand.

SofiaAmes Wed 16-Feb-05 21:17:32

uwila, I know just what you mean. I didn't have one at st. mary's where I had my first (by emergency cs). However, I don't remember whether they had them as qc as I didn't have a second cs. However, I do remember that they had special bassinets that clipped onto the side of your bed so that your baby could be in bed with you without actually being in your bed. That would have made an electronic bed much less important. Why don't you call and ask them.

Minkyjj Fri 25-Feb-05 21:26:35

Hi there Uwila,
I had my 1st dd at QC in August 2002 by private elective c-section. It actually became an emergency as I went into labour earlier than the section was planned. I was on the private ward (Sir Stanley Clayton) which is seperate to the main wards. I was lucky that I had a medical condition that covered me to have a private section paid for by BUPA and I would highly recommend it if you can afford to do it as it was very luxurious. The food was amazing, the staff couldnt help enough. The beds were electric. The facilities were outstanding and very clean and it was a very positive experience. I am now 26 weeks into my second pregnancy and going back to QC but cant afford to go private and no longer have BUPA insurance and I am very apprehensive about the difference in experience this time around. I have heard many different accounts - some good, some bad and hope that I will manage to get an "ammenity room" which is a "private" room but on the main ward rather than the private wing - the price is very different as someone has already mentioned. My main worries are not getting any sleep, being in a 4-6 bedded ward, lack of privacy and having to use a public loo so soon after the c-section. I also dont know what you are meant to do when you go for a shower or to the loo with the baby!!! Anyway, I am due on June 4th and so will probably be there too in mid to end May so I might catch up with you then! Hope that it all goes well

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