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Chelsea and Westminster v St Thomas' v St Mary's

(10 Posts)
Babyloveslisa Wed 23-Sep-09 12:37:36


Ive just found out im pregnant after returning from our honeymoon (v excited!), and went to the gp. She was particularly uninformative, and didnt even mention that I had the right to a different hospital, other than my local one.

My local one is C+W, however ive read some fairly negative reviews and seen they did not do so well well in an independent maternity commission. My friend says St Mary's is fantasticly well equipped, however I seem to be reading that St Thomas' is probably the best in London on the NHS. I would probably be looking for renting out a private room after the birth too..

Help???!! Anyone out there that has any good advice with these 3 please? Would be very much appreciated!

Many thanks

minervaitalica Wed 23-Sep-09 14:29:56

According to my independent midwife, St.Thomas is prob on balance the best NHS hospital. However, I live in North London so I did not feel very comfortable with travelling there in traffic etc (and I was right, as I gave birth 5 mins after arriving at hospital). You can definitely get a private room there, a friend of mine did.

I went to St.Mary's, and had a great experience, even if my DD was in neonatal unit for almost 2 months as very prem. Not sure re: private rooms as I went home after 12 hours. They do have a private wing called the Lindo wing, which however gets booked up months in advance.

In any case, I think you need to visit the hospitals and decide for yourself - you will find mums who had dreadful experiences anywhere, but that does not mean you will. Equally, I found statistics to be also very misleading too, and most London hospitals do badly when compared with the rest of the country anyhow, so I would not take them as given...

moodlumthehoodlum Wed 23-Sep-09 14:35:29

I went private at St Thomas' and loved it. They were brilliant. I did mixed private and NHS, and even though first time round was difficult with abrupted placenta and emergency cs they were ace. Second time round with planned cs they were equally ace. Love them.

cleanandclothed Wed 23-Sep-09 14:38:23

I went to St Thomas's. I found it very good but very busy. The 'labour' experience was fine, but the post-natal ward was (IMO) understaffed. They do have a private wing, rooms cost about £500 a day I think, not sure how you go about booking them especially if you just want them post-birth. It is called the Landsell suite. If you have a straightforward birth in the (midwife led) home from home section though you can stay in your room for around 24hrs after the birth before you are discharged.

cleanandclothed Wed 23-Sep-09 14:39:19

Ooh - cross posted with moodlum. Moodlum - how does mixed private and NHS work?

GreenPeas Wed 23-Sep-09 14:47:03

Both of mine were born at Thomas' - one CS for breech, one natural delivery in the Home from Home unit. I am very happy with both births despite them being very different and I would recommend the hospital.

My only gripe would be with the post-natal care which can be a bit hit and miss. With my CS I was in for a couple of nights and the post-op midwife care varied from excellent to borderline neglectful (one midwife completed my chart without actually examining me...). However, fast forward two years I chose to go back there for my second child and I'm glad I did. The midwives in the HFH were absolutely amazing - I had an extremely smooth VBAC, fantastic care throughout and was home within 8 hours of DSs arrival.

koeda Wed 23-Sep-09 15:20:39

Hi Babyloveslisa

Before you book tours etc double check that you can definitely get into these hospitals. As far as I am aware you can't choose ANY hospital in London - there is still a catchment area unfortunately :-( I live in the City and was really hoping to get into St Thomas' but it was out of my area. I think you can get special referrals to hospitals out of your catchment, but usually only for medical reasons.
Good luck with the choice!

juniperberry Wed 23-Sep-09 16:18:27

I've just has an elective CS at C&W and can thoroughly recommend the experience! It was all NHS. Private rooms are 850 pounds a night - thats a pretty expensive hotel in my opinion! You can also self refer on line at Chelsea. Good luck

Babyloveslisa Thu 24-Sep-09 11:15:39

Oh, thanks so much everyone.. never been on a forum, and am so grateful for all the advice.

I will do a tour of St Thomas' next Tuesday, however I think Koeda may be right as the midwife there told me that they've stopped taking women from outside the borough. She said it's worth trying though.

The midwife also mentioned that UCH has had a major re-fit and is very good now. Anyone know anything about UCH by any chance?

Either way, am glad to hear that the horror storys about C+W arent altogethor true, as that looks like the most likely I guess

Many thanks for your time, does anyone know if its normal for tnder breasts to stop being tender in the 4th week? Apparently I shouldnt be worried..

koeda Thu 24-Sep-09 12:25:14

UCH is where I ended up after not getting into St Thomas'. So far so good, medical staff informative and never seemed rushed. The new building is nice too - shiny and clean! Admin staff a bit hit and miss (more miss most of the time) but I think that's common everywhere.

It's difficult to say much more as I'm only 16 weeks... I have heard that the waits for some of the later antenatal checks can be pretty long, and I have no experience of birth/postnatal, but so far I am v. pleased.

Oh, and when I went in for my booking appointment I met with the midwife in one of the rooms on the midwife-led unit so got a sneak preview (as they don't do tours). The rooms are new, clean and v. well equipped, plus they are all en-suite and if you have no complications and they aren't busy you can stay in that room before they discharge you (6-12hrs later I think).

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