Chelsea and Westminster(38 Posts)
Hi, new to Mumsnet. Feel a bit silly as not even pregnant yet but thinking about trying soon. Just wondered if anyone has any recent experience of C&W NHS maternity unit.
We thought about going private but my GP said that it was probably not worth it if we didn't just have a load of cash sitting around as the ante-natal and labour care is pretty good. I have heard the post-natal care isn't great but unless there are complications I assume one can leave fairly promptly after the birth (perhaps staying a night).
Have read quite a few threads on this but would appreciate recent experiences as I believe there was a review done in Jan 08 and a concerted effort to improve it. We live near Glos Rd so C&W is literally 5 mins away so it would seem to be the most sensible place to go.
Thanks in advance!
A friend of mine had premature twins at C&W and they raved about the care they'd received. They had looked at going private (also at C&W) but felt the only difference was that you were guaranteed a private room so they decided to go the NHS route instead.
Kingsroadie, I'm afraid I think your GP is talking out his or her arse.
Unless of course C&W are now offering one hour midwife appointments in your home, with the same midwife each time, who'll also be the person who's with you in labour, who'll bring you home (if you haven't had a homebirth) and visit you postnatally for up to a month after the birth to make sure you're OK with breastfeeding.
That's what I got with an independent midwife and it was worth every penny.
MLWfirstimemum - people with complex pregnancies usually get very good care within the NHS. It's the low risk mums with normal pregnancies that sometimes don't when the service is under pressure, as it so often is these days.
This isn't the independent practice I used (though it's a very popular one run by a former head of the Royal College of Midwives), but it might be worth you having a look at the statistics for normal births here: here
And those figures don't take into account the fact that the clientel for independent practices tend to be quite a bit older othan your average first time mum.
Thanks MLWfirstimemum and Gabygirl. I have also heard that complex pregnancies get the care and the standard ones do get more ignored as obv the NHS has limited resources.
Gabygirl - I also thought my GP might be talking rubbish but he is a good chap so wondered why he would advise me something if he didn't believe it? Naive I could well be.
Interesting re: independent midwife - I have absolutely no idea about how much they cost - could you give me a general figure (sorry to be rude!).
My mother gave birth to me abroad and so perhaps I am less inclined to think I will need as much help, provided there are no complications, simply from hearing her experiences? But I do really like the idea of having a midwife who I know and have built a relationship with there with me in labour...
Sorry - I don't mean the NHS ignore women with normal pregnancies, just that of course, with limited resources, complex pregnancies will take priority.
Kingsroadie - your GP probably has no experience or knowledge of independent midwifery care. There are only a few hundred independent midwives operating in the UK so it's quite likely he's not come into contact with anyone having this model of care. He was probably thinking about private obstetric care.
Re cost, the practice I used charge about £3600 for the full package I think. That's all your antenatal care, the birth (with 2 midwives attending) and a month of postnatal visits. The practice I used is absolutely fantastic and I would wholeheartedly recommend them. They're an amazing bunch of midwives.
Had DD at C&W in July 07 on the NHS. They were really good. Ante natal care was great- always saw one of about 4 MWs and all appointments were on time. Labour was great too. Lovely MW and doctors. I was really worried about the post natal care but that was fine too. I was in for 6 nights and some MW were better than others but genearlaly OK. (I was in so long because DD was 4 weeks early and there were a few minor complications). Food is rubbish but lots of good places to pick up food nearby. Only a few private rooms on the NHS ward and these are usually for Mums with twins etc. I think I would have actually felt very isolated in a private room for 6 days.
I think all the London hospitals have problems with post natal care as it can be a bit hit or miss.
I am having another baby there in a few weeks. I very briefly considered going private but I didn't really see the point. I went there the other day for a refresher ante natal course and the woman doing the course said she really thought that they had made improvements post natally. Who knows but as you say you should be able to go home fairly quickly.
If you live nearby I'd say go there.
Thanks for your help everyone and any more always welcome.
Kingsroadie - I had DS at on the NHS at C&W in April 2006. Antenatal care was great (assigned to a group of mws, so always so someone I recognised), and when I finally needed consultant care at 40 weeks, had a lovely, sympathetic doctor...I had an elCS in the end, and it was a really positive experience, and felt v looked after.
The postnatal wards are a bit grim, but as tvfriend says, there are lots of places to get food near by (DH was sent to Starbucks as soon as possible - and he sloped off to Carluccios for lunch each day!) and I was home 2 days after the op so it was fine for a couple of nights! Also, had a great MW who let DH stay when he should have been packed off home so I could get discharged when I wanted - and she was determined that I would leave breastfeeding so sorted out lots of troubles in those first 48 hours....
Any friends who've had babies there also had good (NHS) experiences!
Thanks Sparky. Yes agree about restaurants around there - as we live very close we often eat on the Fulham rd anyway - I wonder if Sophie's Steakhouse does takeaway burgers...
Just had another one there and was in for 10 days so even more experience! DS born at 34 weeks so had the experience of speacial care for a couple of days as well.
MW in labour was great again and the doctors for me and the baby were too. All the staff in Special care were too.
I was given a private (NHS) room as DS wasn't with me. When I had him back was on the ward but was fine and then we had to stay a few more unexpected days so they put me in a room again as I was upset not to be going home.
There were a couple of slightly grumpy MW's again, but I'd say thay compared to 18 months ago they were better and seemed to be much more helpful re breastfeeding etc for the 1st time mothers.
Only downside was Carluccios was closed for refurbishment!
We had our DD in C&W Christmas 07. Induced, 2 epidurals that didn't work, and finally a (spinal anaesthetic?), after which my determined DW pushed out the baby despite not feeling anything downstairs. This was to prevent them doing a Caesarian.
Even though that sounds like a nightmare, and it was (when the epidurals failed -- its the hope that kills you), we did think the care was good throughout the birth.
Post-natally weren't too impressed with the lack of care, but nothing drastic to put us off using C&W in having another one.
A mix-up in ward communication led to us being required to stay an extra night when we could have gone home.
The most irritating thing was never seeing the same midwife twice throughout the pregnancy. One of ours admitted that being assingned to a group of Midwives didn't really mean anything, as if they were short, another one would be drafted anyway.
However, if they've had a review of post-natal, and this time knowing what to expect, there's nothing really to put us off using them again.
Location is good for coffees and cinema!
I've had both DSs at C&W on the NHS. First March 2005, second August 2007.
First pregnancy moderate/high risk and I ended up having a section at 38 weeks, second time I had an elective section (they won't induce you there if you've had a previous section).
* Fantastic cesarian experiences - wonderful care during the procedure and immediately post op. Staff also made sure DH very involved and kissed & huggled boys before I did!
* Poor post natal care - very rushed/overstretched midwives. I even spent a few hours in the bathroom on my first night with DS1 because I couldn't stop him crying and was waking other Mums & babies.
* Had to ask for breastfeeding support which wasn't very forthcoming.
Overall I would recommend delivering there.
Does it really matter if you don't have consistency in midwives? As long as the one(s) you get on the day know what they're doing and are supportive?
Be realistic - C&W have over 5000 births a year to deal with so let's not pretend they're going to know you intimately / they're not going to be your best friend, whatever. So what?
I'm 34 weeks, have seen about 7 different people at C&W so far - all great as far as I can tell - and will be happy whoever is there to help me when the big day comes.
I'm only 7 weeks and we begin to think about which hospital to go - Has anyone tried C&W's Private Maternity Unit? Would you recommend it? Since it says private, is it a self-paying option as opposed to maternity unit mentioned in earlier messages?
I've had two at the Kensington Wing (C&W private) - this thread is about the NHS side. There are others about the private wing if you search, or feel free to ask questions!
Had DS there in May 2007. Care during birth was EXCEPTIONAL, incredibly supportive midwife and student doctor supporting me and DH. When DS got stuck and his heartrate started dipping a cast of many arrived and got him out with a ventouse within minutes and straight into the care of a pediatric Dr. For me, the safe arrival of DS was the most important part of the birth and C&W got 10/10 for that.
The postnatal care was bad as previous posters have said. The postnatal ward was full and the staff seemed disinterested, rude and grumpy. No support offered in feeding/ changing/ looking after baby even when I asked for it. They tried to discharge me without DS having taken a feed so I refused to leave. One cow of a nurse even gave him a bottle of formula without my permission! A review of postnatal care could not come soon enough!
Having said all that, my friend had her baby there a few months before me when the ward was not so busy and she did get good support.
I would not hesitate to have my next baby there though due to the super antenatal care and great birth.
Thanks picklesmama for the reminder. Just found those threads discussing the kensington wing - very useful and I'm now just busy digging thru all the info.
They will induce you if you have had a previous caesarean! emkathryn.
Only 13 weeks so far but general impressions are that there's not much communication between departments - and not much personal interest in dealing with my concerns even though I am 41 and have other reasons to be considered reasonably high risk.
Had a consultant appointment - he chuckled when he saw I had some medical journals printed out to support my questioning and said, 'oh, is your husband in a profession?' Patronising ***!
Very young midwife didn't seem to know much, but at least did make the consultant and a couple of other referrals. Currently looking at going private for a proper gyno exam as my general feeling is they can't get you out of the door quickly enough. Perhaps this is just me though!!!
Just in case anyone still comes upon this thread - and update on the below post. Have since been seen by an excellent consultant who referred me to another superb consultant who performed a cervical cerclage - just in time as I was already dilated, so was definitely worth pushing to see another dr with my concerns. Midwives on the ward excellent and have subsequently been back in overnight after mild bleeding and again found them thorough and attentive. Overall verdict - once you're past the barrier of the lower-down administrative orders and under care of a consultant on the ward, the quakity of care is superb. Just still angry that previous doctor et al dismissed my concerns earlier. Still, can't fault what I have experienced since.
Thanks sherizad. Am currently 26 weeks pregnant now and will be having baby at C&W. I have had no probs so far so have seen midwvies only who (for the most part) do seem rather brusque but as I have had no problems I suppose that is to be expected as there's nothing wrong with me.
The only niggle I have is that last week I had a bad UTI and was on antibiotics and generally feeling rather awful and my GP was closed for the afternoon so I called and they then page the midwives for you and asked if someone could give me a call as I felt really ill (severe headaches and fainting etc which is also a sign of pre-eclampsia I believe so might have rung an alarm bell or two with them?!) and no one called me back. I had previously called up about an appt and someone called me back almost immediately before so I thought it was a bit odd but as am feeling better now it doesn't matter!
It will remain to be seen how it fares when I actually give birth there. Am prepared for post-natal to be bad but hoping the birth will go well - need to arrange a tour at some point.
Hope all goes well with you!
Hi Kingsroadie - hope you're feeling better now - sounds very unpleasant and scary! Also hope the midwives not calling back was just an anomaly - as I said, I've found everyone on the ward very attentive and professional - so I hope your future experience will be better! Do go for the ward tour - it's clean, spacious and seems very calm so will be reassuring for you to be able to imagine this as you anticipate your labour!
Hi Kingsroadie - I had dd in August 07 at C+W and am due to have dc2 Feb 10 - also live nr Glos Rd. Also had concerns about using C+W as had read very negative things about the hospital when pregnant. GP advised to use C+W as has been said, ante-natal and labour care were fine. She warned that postnatal care was not so great so advised my dh to be on hand for all the help I needed and to try and spend as little time as possible in the hospital. She also said that places like the Portland were absolutely not interested if you had any complications and said that she had recommended friends of hers who were pregnant who had pots of money to stick with C+W. My experience of before, during and even after the birth were really good. (I would advise seeing a private breastfeeding person though as NHS ones ime always seem to tell you your technique is fine even as your nipples are cracking.) However a friend of mine who gave birth about a month before had an epidural and wasn't sure what to do later when she needed to go the the loo. The nurses said she would be fine to go alone and she fell in the loo - just a warning to make sure that if you feel uncertain whether or not you need help, make sure you do ask.
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