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Can anyone recommend a consultant at the Portland Hospital?

(31 Posts)
Claridges Tue 20-Apr-10 12:10:44

Hi there,

Has anyone given birth at the Portland Hospital? Very keen to hear about your consultant and if you would recommend? thanks

mostlymay Tue 20-Apr-10 20:25:45

I used Donald Gibb for my 1st pregnancy and am with him again for this one and I think he is absolutely fab! Out of my NCT group I was the only one who had a natural birth and I put this down to how fabulous Donald was with me and how supportive the Portland midwives were. I cannot rate them highly enough ! and trust me I am not the earth mother type at all.. I am totally neurotic and need a calm hand to get me through due to previous MMC and general screw ups by my GP/local hospital. so for me Donald Gibb was/is fab and it is absolutely the best money we have ever spent

Claridges Tue 20-Apr-10 21:45:25

Thanks mostlymay. I too did not have a great time with two MCs with the NHS. I am 11 weeks pregnant now and want to make sure I get the best care possible. I will look into Dr Gibb.

vanitypear Tue 20-Apr-10 22:01:31

A v.dear friend has had two with Mr Armstrong and had v good deliveries.

mostlymay Wed 21-Apr-10 07:04:02

this is the link to his company:
good luck Claridges, I hope you have a fab pregnancy and birth whoever you choose

htbp Wed 21-Apr-10 10:19:40

Dr. Gibb has the bedside manner, understanding and warmth of a brick - if empathy is at all important to you or you are someone who needs that little bit extra care for a pregnancy which is one of the most personal and confusing experiences you will have, stay clear away from him, you will only receive impatience and judgment....oh and pay a high price for it too!!

bellasmama Wed 21-Apr-10 10:38:35

I had Miss Yoon who was lovely and supportive and would not have anyone else if I were to get pregnant again. Choosing a consultant is very personal and would recommend you see as many as you can to get a feel to see if you gel with them. There is a list (or was when i had my DS) on the Portland website.

pinkpeony Wed 21-Apr-10 13:24:59

I used Guy Thorpe-Beeston. Can't recommend him highly enough & would use him again if pg with DC2. Had vaginal birth with DS born after 20 minutes of pushing - very relaxed birth. His consulting rooms are nearby on Harley Street. Not only the most competent consultant I have met (and I met with a few before choosing) but also genuinely kind and great bedside manner. Would not use Dr Gibb personally - went to see him in gynae capacity (pre-pg) and he misdiagnosed me. Agree with htbp's view. Friend of mine had CS with him and was also unhappy, scar hurt for long time. Also agree that midwives and post-natal care at Portland were great. With the best Portland consultants, you need to call early as some may already be booked for your dates.

justaphase Wed 21-Apr-10 13:30:20

I used Craig Leitch for both my births and he was absolutely fantastic. You can look up his website, I think

Turniphead1 Wed 21-Apr-10 13:46:54

Hi I gave birth at John and Lizzies (much prefer it, but that's just me) and my consultant was Kevin Harrington who is also at the Portland. He is fab and very warm and caring.

QTPie Fri 23-Apr-10 10:34:48

John and Lizzies won't be an option for the OP (or the rest of us any more... ). Hopefully some more of the Consultants from there will practice at J&L too


shergar Fri 23-Apr-10 14:55:04

Clive Spence-Jones is absolutely wonderful, as is Kevin Harrington. Highly recommend them both...if forced to choose, CSJ would have the edge for the warmth of his patient interaction and how much he cares about mother and baby. He taught me as a medical student and all the mums fell in love with him just a bit grin

Claridges Sat 24-Apr-10 12:09:56

Thanks all plenty of research to do today with these suggestions.

Karoleann Mon 26-Apr-10 13:13:38

I used Dr Gibb and thought he was great, I'd really recommend. He's very down to earth and puts your mind at rest. Will use him next time too x Was happy with the Portland too

Martina21 Sun 27-Jun-10 17:41:44

I totally agree with the above comment that Dr Gibb's strength is not exactly warmth, personal care and empathy.

Dr Gibb delivered my second child and despite seeing him throughout my pregnancy for regular check-ups he kept thinking I was someone else! At first I was so embarrassed for him that I did not correct him - that I was not from Switzerland & my name not so & so, but this actually kept happening. Is it too much to ask that he throws a glance at his file to at least get the name right? hmm

Secondly, I suffer from very bad morning sickness which only stops after I give birth. Not once did he ask how I was coping or offer any kind of support or medical advice on how to manage it. Well, he probably didn't remember.

On the other hand, his technical expertise is good - surely the only thing that could have taken him this far - certainly not his manner, empathy or which he has none.And of course there is a sense of gratitude that he delivered my second child safely (by C-section)...

So depends what your expectations are really. If you want some kind of personal care, I would definitely not recommend him.

JoLondonJo Wed 30-Jun-10 14:29:44

You have all made me feel so much better...

...I had DD via c-section with Gibb at Portland, whilst I think that he is very good technically at what he does and absolutely trust his medical judgement - on more than one anti-natal visit I left his office in tears for no other reason than I felt he did not care about me as a person in any way.

Plus he also kept calling me the wrong name and just before the section he asked me to sign the surgical disclaimer saying that he had explained all the risks earlier in the week to me - well he may have explained the risks but certainly not to me! I thought it was just me so you have all put my mind at rest.

I will be trying for no. 2 in the not so distant future - I am more than happy to go back to the Portland as I could not fault them, however, big big decision to make as to whether I go back to Gibb or give somebody else a try.

SympatheticConsultant Thu 01-Jul-10 00:26:19

Oh dear, some of the comments on this thread really would not endear expectant parents to the benefits of Consultant led private maternity care!!

I think there are a number of myth's regarding private Obstetric's which you may or may not find useful. To give you an insight the overall CSection rate for women delivering at a private maternity unit like the Portland is in the region of 60-70%. The typical overall CS rate for NHS maternity units in London are probably in the region of 24-35% (C+W has arguably the highest CS rate in London, I accept the merit's and drawback's of this are open to debate).

From a purely technical perspective for an Obstetrician who is undertaking a women's care in the private sector, delivery by planned CSection usually accounts for the least stressful and relatively most straight forward of cases. Most 1st and 2nd CS's are largely routine operative procedures (in the absence of extensive scar tissue from previous surgery),its usually the 3rd, 4th and 5th ones that are likely to be technically more challenging.
By the time most Obstetrician's have reached Consultant level they will have done hundreds if not thousands of CS's as part of their training. In this context for most it is usually a relatively routine surgical procedure.
The ability to undertake a straight forward CS does not necessarily mark out a 'good' Obstetrician.
It is the ability to communicate with parents to put them at their ease, the ability to support and empathise that go together with the clinical skills and the ability to manage complications as they arise that distinguishes the better Obstetricians.

I suspect there is a perception that as some private practices become more established and very busy the concept of 'individualised care' can sometimes get 'blurred' and things start to unfortunately become a bit like a 'production-line' rather than a bespoke service where continuity of care and excellence are paramount. It does come down to your expectation levels.

As has been posted above, for this reason alone before deciding on your Consultant do try and meet a few to get a feel for how you gel with them. Potentially they will be guiding you through some of the most stressful but also hopefully the most jubilant and memorable experiences of your life!

Please forgive the plug, but I suspect many of the relatively newer Obstetric Consultants, who have established NHS practices but who are starting out in the private sector, are more than happy to offer complementary introductory consultations purely for such circumstances.

Happy shopping! smile

Harimo Thu 01-Jul-10 00:48:54

I saw Dr. Kunde at The Portland, for both of my children.

I couldn't have asked for a better chap. He was wonderful, both times, and I'd recommend him wholeheartedly.

And absolutely LOVE the Portland. Brilliant service both times.

DoulaKate Thu 01-Jul-10 19:27:47

Claridges, have you thought about the presence of a Doula with you during labour and birth? The technical expertise offered at the Portland is great, but you may want to consider the emotional and physical support from an experience birth assitant during your labour and birth.

OhCobblers Fri 02-Jul-10 19:51:56

Would highly recommend Jeffrey Braithwaite. His office/consulting room is on Wimpole Street and i always had my scans there.
He delivered both my children and has a lovely, warm manner - highly recommended and i'm pretty sure he'd always get your name right grin.

I also really liked the anaesthetist that JB works with too - an amazing lady who put me at complete ease with 2nd baby (didn't have her with the 1st).

Friends have also had Guy T-B deliver their children and nothing but good things to say about him.

I also LOVE the Portland - have had amazing experiences every time - never wanted to leave!!

SkaterGrrrrl Mon 23-Aug-10 12:40:29

Just to chime in (a bit late) in case anyone else searches for this information on MN - I am with Mr Leitch at the Portland and he is wonderful. Very kind, empathetic, reassuring and knowledgable. Trust him utterly.

I went and interviewed met a couple of consultants before choosing Mr L, its important you click with your docotr and feel comfortable with him or her.

vaci Sat 28-May-11 07:17:58

Hello, it's been awhile since this topic has been open... I am in the process of choosing a hospital and the Portland seems like a good choice. I am also trying to choose a consultant who will deliver my baby and I was wondering, if anyone has any recommendations based on experience.
Also, what would be a good way to choose from - some suggest meeting with a few before making a final choice, but consultations are costly... Plus what should I look for? For me competency is the most important - how would I judge that from a meeting?
Any advice much appreciated!! Thanks!!

QTPie Sat 28-May-11 09:52:19


Since competency is your primary concern (as it is with all of us), then I don't think you have a problem: all Consultants at the Portland are highly competent and experienced. I honestly don't think that you have to worry about that.

If you have any likely complications in pregnancy (twins, congenital problems etc), then you may want to choose one with strong interests in that area. Otherwise it is down to whether you like them.

I had Gubby Ayida (at John and Lizzies, but she now delivers Portland as well as her main base at C&W). I had her assigned on "mixed" (Consultant/MW) care, but worked out very well. Baby ended up breech and so Gubby delivered by ELCS. Gubby is very down to earth, very "matter of fact" and approachable. She is also one of the best obstetricians in the country (and gets booked up early). My ELCS was faultless (no pain, just a little discomfort afterwards, and a perfect scar) and would strongly consider having her again. The only downside with her was her secretary: didn't ensure that my Bupa pre-auth was processed quickly and failed to advise me of some changes to appointments.

I suggest that you do hospital tours. Then look at the consultant lists: read recommendations here (personal recommendations are best) and look at the Consultants' websites (and generally google them). Choose one and have an initial consultation with them. Providing you are happy with them, stuck with them. If you aren't, try another. Unless you have unlimited time and money, then maybe shortlist 3 and interview them all?

How many weeks pregnant are you? Some get booked up completely by 14 or even 8 weeks.


Oscalito Sat 28-May-11 10:08:50

I was lucky to have an obstetrician who also works at the Portland, Yinka Akinfenwa, deliver my baby at his NHS bases. He was absolutely fantastic - lovely bedside manner, kept me at ease and said a few things that made me feel better about the birth in the limited time he was there. He seemed to really enjoy his work and made it special even though he had students with him. Most importantly in the long term, he is technically excellent - my baby was born safely and I healed beautifully.

jjgirl Mon 30-May-11 12:38:07

Nic Morris is very good, his father (Norman Morris) was the man who changed modern childbirth to a more humane experience.

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