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Switching from private care to NHS ?

(36 Posts)
MamanFlo Sun 20-Feb-05 18:25:43

I am 30 weeks now and started to get private care. I have actually miscalculated the cost of it and my insurance will not cover it completely if it goes very very very wrong (eg. c section with 10 nights in hospital). If everythings goes to plan no problem, if I have a uncomplicated c-section no problem as well (I will pay for it). With the worst case scenario I might have to pay something like £8000 and it is actually difficult to accept...I am now considering going back to NHS to have a certain peace of mind on the finance side.

Is there anyone here who has experienced this ? Is it easy ?

thanks !

wheresmyfroggy Sun 20-Feb-05 18:38:41

Are you only thinking of 'going back' for financial peace of mind or because you trust and have faith in the NHS and the service they provide. If you decide to do this I would letb your GP know very soon to ensure he can book you in at a hospital in time . HTH

velcrobott Sun 20-Feb-05 18:44:51

If you go into labour at any time you can always go to hospital.... regardless of what your plans were !
If you had a bad caesarean and needed to stay in hospital longer than you might need to be transfered to a NHS hospital anyway !!!
We've debated private / NHS before. The NHS does all the big childbirth emergencies anyway.... which private hospital were you planning to got to ? Do you mind saying?

Tinker Sun 20-Feb-05 18:48:49

The beauty of the NHS is that it wouldn't turn you away.

MamanFlo Sun 20-Feb-05 18:57:41

I do trust the NHS in terms of delivering the baby but I was not impressed at the post natal side of things and wanted to deal with only one consultant for antenatal care. Since the insurance was covering a very large chunk of the cost, I preferred to go private.

The stupid thing is that now I think that if things go very wrong I would be better treated in a private hospital...

I am registered at the Lindo Wing at Saint Mary's (being an expat I might not have chosen the saviest option...but it's 15 min from home and my GP highly recommended the obstetrician I am with...).

Would it be possible then to be transferred to the NHS ward after the first 2or 3 nights ?

Flossam Sun 20-Feb-05 19:00:07

IME if things go very wrong, god forbid, you would be far better off starting in a NHS hospital. Thats where you would end up anyhow most likely!!!

Flossam Sun 20-Feb-05 19:00:33

Oh, and most possibly still paying for the pleasure, again IME.

Tinker Sun 20-Feb-05 19:00:51

Hmm, not sure. You mean, just popping into an NHS hospital for the free bedrest/when your money runs out?

acnebride Sun 20-Feb-05 19:02:20

Nothing to add but as usual will stick my oar in and say that i've heard nothing but rave reviews for the Lindo Wing on here.

If I were you I'd ring up your consultant or whoever does the finances at the Lindo Wing and be completely honest about your worries - I bet they encounter these concerns every day, and ultimately their main aim will be to ensure that you have peace of mind. HTH and hope all goes really smoothly.

wheresmyfroggy Sun 20-Feb-05 19:04:24

But if it is the NHS aftercare you are not feeling too happy about then why would you be happy to transfer to it ?

MamanFlo Sun 20-Feb-05 19:28:33

That's a lot of answers and opinions, does help me a lot. (not easy for a first pregnancy not to be in my home country.)

acnebride : I bet the reviews are "rave" (for the price they are charging !)I have visited the rooms and it looks far much better than the priviate clinics I have seen in France.

I will definitely talk to my consultant about it...and actually, he is very good, so it shouldn't go very very very wrong

pupuce Sun 20-Feb-05 19:38:15

Mamanflo... IMO you get better birth care in this country than you do in France !

MamanFlo Sun 20-Feb-05 19:45:17

pupuce : I would love to know more about your opinion about care in france and UK (and BTW your nickname sounds french...).

pupuce Sun 20-Feb-05 22:12:54

My nickname is French... I am a birth doula from French origin but live in the UK.
The French are very much into medicalising birth - now that may well be your cup of tea but fundamentally they have a high intervention rate.

MamanFlo Mon 21-Feb-05 09:24:05

Pupuce...from what I have heard among my froggy friends, you're right the French are over medicalising it when it is not necessary.
When I got pregnant I did not really realised the importance of midwives and went straight to a consultant. He is lovely and very helpful but sometimes there is something missing in our relationship.
Next time I will try a private midwife...

Uwila Mon 21-Feb-05 10:21:53

mamanflo, you might want to check with your GP to see what NHS hospital you might get into at his stage. You might find anywhere you would like to go would be full. I reccommedn checking stats on

Mind if I ask where you are from? I'm American and it took going through a first birth (emergency caesarean) to sort of learn the ropes of the system and get things the way I wanted them second time around.

Now, I will be completely honest and confess that I am no fan of the NHS (or probably any nationalised medicine). BUT, if there is one place I was ever impressed with the NHS, it was when things went wrong and they started talking about a caesarean. Baby's heart rate was dropping... and mummy was beginning to freak (calmly of course). In flew a medical team and I my lovely dd was safely delivered literally in a matter of minutes. She is fine, and so am I thanks to the performace of the NHS medical team.

So, whilst on the whole I am no fan, I think that if things go terribly wrong, the NHS does a fine job. I suppose my gripe is that you don't get much attention until things go terribly wrong.

Do you have an option to deliver the baby on the NHS and then get a private room. Most hospitals offer them for £100 or £150 per night.

Cooperoo Mon 21-Feb-05 11:48:02

I can appreciate how scary it must seem to deliver in a country different to your own in a system you are not used to. I am currently in Cyprus and the military hospital I was supposed to be using has shut for deliveries (theatres closed - long story) and so I have to go to a Cypriot hospital which is culturally very different...and I am scared even having already had a great waterbirth with my first. Just wanted to give you a bit of support with that. If I had the money I would always go private. (I am considering it out here as it will be the only way for me to get access to gas and air). How about entrusting the NHS with your birth which you say you are happy with and using the money to hire a doula or nurse for a week or so after to help with the post natal bit ( I think some doulas help out after the birth too, someone please correct me if I am wrong). I am sure that the NHS cannot say no although you will be shocked at how busy it can be I think.
Good luck deciding. How is your pregnancy so far? Have confidence in your body...the likelihood of it all going very badly wrong is quite small really although I agree needs to be considered.

pupuce Mon 21-Feb-05 13:28:48

uwila.... she can go to her local hospital without having to register.
Mamanflo... yes the British Private system also (IMO) over-medicalised... that's what you pay for

Uwila Mon 21-Feb-05 13:39:45

Pupuce, my point was that her "local" hospital might not be one she wants to go to. For example, I live in the catchment area for St. Peters in Chertsey, where I was COMPLETELY opposed to going. I raised this issue when I was 5 weeks pregnant. Next two choices turned me down due to being out of their catchment areas. I finally got booked into Queen Charlotte at 16 weeks. Had I started this proccess at 30 weeks, I doubt I would have gotten into QC either. So, if switching to NHS this late in the game will have her going somewhere she doesn't want to go, that's worth her considering before she leaves her private care.

My personal view is that medicalised births save lives. Medical procedure were developed and still exist for a reason. I think everyone should be able to choose. No idea what mamanflo prefers, but only she can make that choice. I'm going to guess that she sees some value in the medical approach since she has booked herself into consultant care.

Mamanflo, do you have any reason to expect that you might be likely to experience complications. Or are you just considering worst case scenarios to beon the safe side?

MamanFlo Mon 21-Feb-05 14:58:53

Initially I chose the private system because my insurance was covering a great deal of it. WIthout this, I would have been hapy with the NHS, though my MIL is the head of a big big hospital in paris and would have pressured me to have the baby in France. Havng private care with a renowned obstetrician was a way to stay close to my husband for the last stages of pregnancy.

We had a good discussion with DH and he said that if things were going wrong we would pay for it in the end. My dear mum also said that she would help. And actually I checked again with the Lindo and they seem to have exagerated the amount of money needed in the worst case scenario.

At the end of the day, I might have a c section because of a low lying placenta, but the Dr said it was moving up slowly...we'll see this friday...

The whole thing is a bit stupid and certainly related to this being my first pregnancy and not really knowing what to expect and being not really sure I understand the system (might have been the same if I was in France !).

your views really really really help...thanks a lot !


pupuce Mon 21-Feb-05 15:29:16

Uwila - my comment about medicalised birth is not against medicalisation itself but against over medicalisation.
It is (unfortunately) well known that a significant number of women who start with an induction that leads to much intervention end up in section. There are MANY caesareans that are the result of over medicalisations.
However yes it can save a baby or a mother's life too!

orangina Mon 21-Feb-05 16:01:21

mamanflo, it is my understanding that at the lindo wing, your c-section would take place in the same theatre with the same level of care (albeit performed by your designated consultant) than if you were registered at st marys on the NHS (please someone correct me if I'm wrong!). Therefore, the thing that is going to drive your costs up, is staying for 10 nights or whatever in the lindo wing at £650/night (I think that is the going rate...). I'm booked into st marys for my birth (I'm currently 33 weeks), and we discussed nhs vs private for a long time, before plumping for nhs (fwiw, i think your private choice of the lindo wing was the best one, at least you are part of a teaching hospital should you need emergency care, all the patients from st johns and lizzies would end up there anyway). HOWEVER, I would LOVE to be able to upgrade to private POST-natal care (the nhs post natal wards are definitely not anywhere you want to stay for very long unless absolutely necessary), so I would stay put, and only move yourself out of the lindo wing if financial circumstances dictate. Anyway, if you or your baby end up with some major complications (I do hope that won't be the case), you might find that as an emergency, your insurance will cover it anyway? Best of luck....

Uwila Mon 21-Feb-05 17:18:44

Pupuce, with all due respect, I think that the notion that birth is sometime overmedicalised is an opinion. You are of course entitled to that. But, I'm also entitled to believe that medicalisation of childbirth is good development in the modern world. I think the cons of caesareans are way overexaggerated, and the cons of vaginal birth are brushed over. Howver, this is of course also an opinion.

Besides, I don't know that mamanflo is planning a caesarean. I think she may have just posted this thread to gether information in the unlikely event that she MIGHT need one.

lailag Mon 21-Feb-05 17:29:44

I don't think it is just a matter of opinion whether the western world is overmedicalised. It would be when the statistics show the complication rate of c-sectionn and other interventions are higher then they would have been if they had been at a lower rate.
But then I don't know whether these statistics excist and how reliable they would be.
Hm don't think I made myself very claer. Just mean to say that a certain percentage of complication rate of an intervention wouldn't be a matter of opinion but a certain percentage rate...

Uwila Mon 21-Feb-05 17:38:45

I think this could potentially turn into a fercocious caesarian vs. vaginal is better thread. I'll bow out so as not to hijack the thread.

Good luck with your decision, mamanflo.

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