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Experiences of hospitals in West London - 4 choices, help please!

(19 Posts)
LondonLlama Sun 06-Sep-09 16:19:06

Only 4 weeks into this pregnancy malarkey and have to let my doctor know tomorrow which hospital I'd like to be referred to - eep!

I am leaning towards Kingston, but other options are St Mary's Roehampton, West Middlesex or Queen Charlotte's. Does anyone have experiences to share (good or bad) that might help me decide?

Thanks so much x

maniacbug Sun 06-Sep-09 16:45:39

Hi - I had my 1st and 2nd babies at West Mid, because we moved to the area when I was already 3 months pg and Kingston and Queen C's were 'fully booked' (hadn't occurred to me that that might happen!). Everyone's experience of birth is so personal and depends hugely on their own circumstances, state of mind and to a certain extent luck (which staff you happen to get, how busy they are at the time, etc.). Have to confess wasn't massively impressed on visits prior to birth, but my son's birth in Dec 2004 was a 100% positive experience - luckily no complications so v. straightforward, natural, no drugs, one m/w (the wonderful Po Ying) present for birth, all very calm and relaxing. They kept us in for 3 days as he wasn't feeding properly and they wouldn't discharge until it was sorted - in the end he had to have his stomach pumped - and throughout it all the care I received from midwives and various specialists I saw was outstanding. With my 2nd pregnancy I had to specifically request West Mid as catchment areas had changed and I would have otherwise been sent to Kingston. However, when my daughter was born in Dec 2006, my experience at West Mid could not have been more different. Stressful CS (due to breech) ending up with general anaesthetic (the anaesthetist was HORRIBLE - really sarcastic and offhand), a different midwife every visit - one of them really rude to me, a consultant who barely looked at me and wouldn't even discuss the options for breech birth but 'told' me how it was going to be, a surgeon with absolutely no bedside manner - basically I was treated dismissively and like a total inconvenience throughout. On the basis of this, I would never go back there and will be having my 3rd baby (due beg Nov) in Kingston. Most of my friends in the area went to Kingston and I have only heard good things about it, and so far have v. positive impression of all staff and facilities too. If you're planning a natural birth, the Malden Suite is a great option. Presumably you've looked at all the websites?
Can't speak for St Mary's or Queen C's, but good luck whatever you decide - hope you enjoy your pregnancy! best wishes x

cece Sun 06-Sep-09 17:04:28

I had two babies at West Mid in 2001 and 2003. Both were fine but agree never saw the same mw twice. Thought that was normal till had DC3 and saw the same mw for all my antenatal app all the way through at a different hospital. Although had a 'new' mw for the delivery at the second hosptial.

dikkertjedap Sun 06-Sep-09 17:20:42

Queen Charlotte's - have heard very good things about them, but they tend to be booked up very quickly. It was my first choice but as they were already booked up I ended up with UCH (awful).

maniacbug Sun 06-Sep-09 18:42:42

Also, just thought: might sound obvious but worth bearing in mind actual distance involved - I'm midway between West Middlesex and Kingston, and getting to Queen Charlotte's (which was an option) could potentially be a major hassle in a labour situation in rush-hour traffic.... Another friend who chose Kingston over West Mid (which would have been considerably closer to her) almost ended up having her 2nd baby in Richmond Park!

Wheelybug Sun 06-Sep-09 18:49:05

I've had 2 babies at Kingston and had good experiences both times (last 6 months ago). First pregnancy high risk and was looked after very well. Second was fine too - antenatal very good, delivery (c-sec)very good, postnatal v. understaffed but private rooms so good and bad (and expect the understaffed bit is sadly the same everywhere).

ramonaquimby Sun 06-Sep-09 18:49:38

had 3 really good experiences at west mid (01/04/06) In fact, the same midwife delivered dd1 and dd2. never expected to see same faces for antenatal appointments during my pregnancy (does this happen??!!) Queen Charlottes is a fair distance from Roehampton and Kingston, I'd be mindful of distances as well when choosing. good luck

MrsHappy Sun 06-Sep-09 18:55:50

I had my DD at QC a few years ago and it was awful. I wouldn't go there again, TBH, but lots of women seem happy with the place, particularly if they were in the birth centre.

I have never heard anything bad about Kingston. The women I know who had difficult labours there do not complain about the care.

AvonBarksdale Sun 06-Sep-09 19:33:22

I had dd2 on Friday morning in the birth centre at West Mid. It was wonderful, there were a couple of apathetic midwives but the two that delivered were fab. If you want a birth centre experience def go for it.

Egg Sun 06-Sep-09 19:40:31

Blimey I never knew you could give birth at St Marys! I had DS1 at Kensington and Chelsea but lived about 5 mins away from St Marys.

K&C was good for me (I know not mentioned as one of your options). The only reason I chose it over Kingston was that I worked in Central London at the time meaning it was midway between home and work if I needed to go to an ante natal appt straight from work.

maniacbug Sun 06-Sep-09 20:20:51

In my earlier post actually meant it was a different midwife that came to check on me each time in hospital, both prior to operation (when I was very nervous and in need of reassurance and continuity of care) and during 3 days of recovery in hospital (when I was pretty feeble after major blood transfusion). I know they're rushed off their feet and for the most part do a fantastic job, and sounds like others have had a better overall experience of West Middlesex - think I was just unlucky 2nd time round, and although this has influenced my personal decisions this time round pls don't let it put you off!

Caro1302 Sun 06-Sep-09 21:35:12

Maniacbug I had Po Ying too- but her shift finished 1.5 hours before DD actually arrived. She was lovely, really calming.

I work at West Mid so might be biased, but I've had DS and DD there. DS was emergency section and it was excellent, although I could have done with more bf support on the postnatal ward. DD was a VBAC and I had the same MW for every antenatal appointment which surprised me. I was well looked after in labour and immediately post-delivery. They were incredibly busy and I did have to wait until 17:00 on the day of my induction via waters breaking. Po Ying did my 5 day check at home and she said it had been manic all week.

Caro1302 Sun 06-Sep-09 21:37:25

Oh, forgot to say that West Mid has a lovely new birthing centre with 2 birth pool rooms and 2 rooms without pools but equally lovely- I wish I'd been allowed to use this facility but being a VBAC I wasn't.

londonmackem Sun 06-Sep-09 22:01:42

I had my daughter 6 weeks ago at Queen Charlotte's and the care was fine - better in birth centre than delivery suite but I had no option but to go 'upstairs'. West Mid was my second choice but QC had been recommended. I would go with the nearest as I think quality of care depends on how busy they are and you can't control that!

LondonLlama Sun 06-Sep-09 22:07:47

Oh my goodness, you ladies are just amazing! I can't believe how wonderfully helpful (and quick off the mark) you have been - thank you so much!

It was a bit of a shock getting pregnant so quickly (bad endometriosis meant we were prepared to be in it for the long haul conception-wise), but then to really not know anything about these hospitals (apart from the positive stuff on their websites), I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

I get the feeling the midwife shortage is a problem in many places, but it sounds like West Middlesex is a good one to go with (it's also good distance-wise for home and work - Kingston from Kew heightens the risk of giving birth in Richmond Park a la maniacbug's friend, picturesque but not exactly practical!

Hooray! Feeling much better about things.

Thank you again so much x

tvfriend Mon 07-Sep-09 22:57:33

You can't have a baby at Queen Mary's Roehampton so that will narrow down the choices!(At least I'm 99% sure you can't!). Had mine at Chelsea and Westminster (v happy with them)so can't offer much more help except friends have had good experiences at Kingston and Queen Charlottes although QC can be a bugger to get to and have heard their ante-natal care can be a pain.

hester Mon 07-Sep-09 23:23:20

I went to Queen Charlotte's and they were brilliant. I've heard good things of Kingston. Good luck making your decision.

littleomar Tue 08-Sep-09 09:09:35

Had my first at Kingston early 2007 and due to have my second there in Feb. The midwives (on the main suite not the Malden) were all amazing, as were the community midwives before and after. Some of the people on the postnatal (Worcester) ward could have been a bit more sympathetic but overall no hesitations about going back.

MoonlightMcKenzie Tue 08-Sep-09 09:22:58

If you can get to it (And women come as far as Northampton in labour) the Edgeware Birthing Unit is like what you would imagine a private birthing spa hotel.

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