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Queen Charlotte's or Chelsea & Westminster

(10 Posts)
Chisbee Tue 06-Oct-09 13:53:27

VERY early days as am 6 weeks pregnant and am feeling overwhelmed by the very first question posed by my highly uninspiring GP - which hospital did we want!?!

Deciding between Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea & Westminster - any advice or recent experience would be gratefully received!

(I have seen an old thread which bagged C&W post-natal care but that was back in '07 - does anything change in the NHS in 2 years?).

Vix02 Wed 07-Oct-09 08:49:09

Hi Chisbee,

I was faced with exactly the same question but my GP strongly recommended Queen Charlotte's. I am due in the next few days so will let you know what I think after I have delivered the baby but so far my experience there has been good with some of my other girlfriends who have already given birth saying that it was fantastic.
The birth centre is supposed to be excellent and my MW told me yesterday that it rarely gets really busy in there.
Also, people get referred to QC from all over the country and even the world which has got to be saying a lot!
Good luck!

Chisbee Wed 07-Oct-09 11:07:25

Thanks so much Vix02! Good luck with D-day - hope it all goes well and QC exceeds expectations!!

Mellin Wed 07-Oct-09 11:24:11

Chisbee,
I have had 2 DCs at Queen Charlotte, the most recent DS was born in August.

I had them both in the birth centre and cannot recommend it highly enough. As Vix said it was not busy and both times I had fantastic care.

I was also reassured by the fact they have the largest neonatal intensive care unit in the country. Just in case there were any complications (which there weren't).

I have no experience of the labour ward, but would say that the ante-natal clinic is very busy. My appointment with midwives/consultants were always running late, sometimes up to 2 hours late.

Chisbee Wed 07-Oct-09 11:53:49

Thanks Mellin - 2 points to QC, although you must have read plenty of baby mags during those 2hr delays!

extremelychocolateymilkroll Wed 07-Oct-09 14:07:07

Had dd in August 07 at C+W. I found all aspects of care good - although friends of mine did say that post natal care was a bit hit and miss. Think things have improved a lot in the last couple of years. Having dc2 there in February.

Mellin Wed 07-Oct-09 14:15:24

Yup, definitely take a book would be my advice!

Chisbee Wed 07-Oct-09 16:36:48

Thanks for C&W thoughts extremelychocolateym... - congrats on your new arrival!

Toppy Thu 08-Oct-09 19:42:13

Hi Chisbee. I am in a good position to answer this as have had two babies in 20 months, one at each hospital.

I chose to have DS in Jan 2008 at Charlotte's as it has an amazing reputation but chose C&W for DD born 2 weeks ago as it is considerably closer which was a huge factor in attending appointments and scans with a toddler. We live in Parsons Green to give you an idea of proximity. I had similar births - zero intervention and no drugs at either, both MW led. I used the birth centre at Charlottes and the birth unit at C&W (which I did not know about for DS - it identical to the birth centre at Charlotte's but is on the same floor at the labour ward and consists of three rooms. It also has the most amazing water pool you ahev ever seen with black walls all cocoon like - like a spa !! That is where DD arrived)

I was expecting C&W to be the poorer experience just from reputation and people singing Charlotte's praises so it was a pleasant surprise to hands down prefer all aspect but one at C&W.

1) Charlotte's was a 20 - 30 minute drive where C&W was a 5 minute drive

2) C&W surrounding environs is far nicer than that of Charlottes - Tescos, Carluccios, M&S, Boots on your doorstep - these things really matter when faced with hospital food after giving birth

3) My care at Charlotte's was GP led so I had to see my GP throughout in between the 3 hospital visits for two scans and one term appointment. My care at C&W was midwife led - far far better. I saw a team of 6 or so midwives based at Parsons Green and they were actually interested in how I was - the GP just measured my bump, took blood pressure and moved on to the next patient. It was nice to be able to chat to MWs throughout this time round with any concerns

4) I NEVER had to wait for my scans at C&W whereas we spent hours at Charlotte's in the waiting area - C&W felt far more efficient.

I felt more in touch with my hospital and the team there at C&W - it felt more 'me'

The bit that was rubbish at C&W was the post labour ward - hot, heaving, couldn't get discharged or get any info from nurses as to when we could leave but hey did care for us really well. This is the aspect most people complain about. At Charlotte's we lucked out and moved to a spare birthing room which was not set up for births and stayed there overnight - my DH stayed too on a pull out bed (and kept me awake snoring) It was still hot and adminy and the food was awful but it was private with its own bathroom. Hospital post labour bathrooms are notoriously filthy (I was expecting this but was still shocked at how revolting they were but as I posted before on the C&W thread that is down to the other patients not the cleaning staff who do their best to clear up after the few that have no respect for shared facilities). No idea what the Charlotte's post labour ward is like.

So for me I assumed C&W was going to be inferior to Charlotte's but I way preferred it. Don't get me wrong Charlottes was excellent but C&W was even more so

Chisbee Sun 11-Oct-09 18:47:31

Thanks so much Toppy - your advice is HUGELY useful! Lots to think about!! Congrats on latest arrival!

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