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St Thomas's - private room vs postnatal ward

(28 Posts)
emben12 Mon 24-May-10 18:01:34

Hi - I'm new on here. I'm sorry if this is a discussion that's been had many times before but I really wanted to see if anyone had any feedback for me. I am due to have my baby at St thomas's in the next week or so (first baby). I have heard great things about the care during labour but horrendous things about the postnatal wards. I have found out that if I need a c-section my private health policy will cover a stay in the private ward there. Has anyone experienced trying to book a private roomin the Landsell Suite on the day of birth - as it is such a busy hospital I am concerned that if I want to pay for a private room on the day, it will probably be full. Any recent experiences would be greatly appreciated.
thanks so much!!

EldonAve Mon 24-May-10 18:10:14

If you can get a room on the private ward go for it

I was there recently and the PN ward was understaffed and chaotic
On the plus side it seemed clean!

If you are assertive and able to ask for what you want/need you will be okay

Good luck

emben12 Mon 24-May-10 18:18:31

Thank you! Great to hear it was clean - i've heard pretty grim stories!

I think i'm definitely happy to be assertive, just concerned that because they only have 6 rooms that they might be full all the time.

I feel like i'm obsessing about something that I might not even need but worried that an experience that should be magical could be ruined by a postnatal ward experience - there seem to be so many bad reports online about it......

OTTMummA Mon 24-May-10 21:54:57

always get a private room if you can, i was lucky to get the first night free at my hospital, and paid the other 2 nights, but had to be put on on ward last night, and i hated it with a passion, i nearly left tbh without being discharged properly.

gladders Tue 25-May-10 10:53:10

st thomas nhs post natal ward was ghastly - noisy and the bathroom was not always clean.... shower was out of order when i was there too...

for second baby we went onto the lansdell - after a cs on the nhs - was prefect. you cannot pre book unless you go private for everything but it is rarely full and we had no problem - we phoned from the car on the way in and knew we'd be fine, and as soon as dd and i were settled in recovery, dh popped upstaird to sort out all the admin.

we had to pay for ourselves, but it was worth every penny - lovely midwives (who helped me establish breast feeding), lovely food, lovely clean and comfy rooms with private bathrooms - what's nt to love!

shipsladyg Tue 25-May-10 11:11:47

I do hear it's absolute $£$£$£$£ though. Something like £700 a night someone in my NCT class told me. My local hospital is £40 a night.

EldonAve Tue 25-May-10 13:23:55

£40 a night sounds like just a private room

for £700 a night you are getting private nurses/MW care

emben12 Tue 25-May-10 13:37:16

I'm not sure that they have just private rooms without the private care. I rang and asked and you're right - they rooms in the Landsell suite are 690 pounds per night.
When I called to ask they said they are often full so that was my concern - just wondered if anyone else had got there and requested a room and been turned away.

Still haven't heard anything good about the postnatal wards there.....

ZombiePlanB Tue 25-May-10 20:16:39

I used the landsell suite nearly three years ago and it was lovely. If I need to have another section I'll be booking there again!

However a friend gave birth about five months ago and she had a good experience on the postnatal ward. App it has got better.

Good luck!

emben12 Wed 26-May-10 09:59:06

Thank you - that is really good to hear. That is the first positive bit of feedback I have heard. I would definitely attempt to book into the Landsell Suite in the hope that there would be room. If not, the above makes me feel slightly more at ease after all the horrendous things I have read!

gladders Wed 26-May-10 11:26:24

it is about £700 a night - but OP has insurance? and to be honest we made some sacrifices to use that facility and it really smoothed dd's first few days - i think it really set us up

after cs with ds at st thomas, we were told there were no private rooms on the nhs - only option was a bed in a 4 bed ward. was dark and dingy with no privacy - ok if you're only staying a short while but not ok for cs recovery IMO

ZombiePlanB Wed 26-May-10 19:42:48

I guess we need a 'postnatal ward' survival list to go with the C-section thread!

Earplugs I guess.

I might start one now!

emben12 Thu 27-May-10 09:52:27

I think its the privacy issue that bothers me more than the noise. And I think its strange that they advise you to take ear plugs in for the postnatal ward - how are you supposed to hear your own baby then?!!

ZombiePlanB Thu 27-May-10 14:33:27

I saw my friend that was there recently yesterday and checked again. She said it was fine. She tried to get into the landsell but it was full, though she called for couple of days, then decided she was OK where she was.

I assume baby will be next to you so think you'd be OK with earplugs, I don't recall mine really waking in the night for the first three days.

emben12 Thu 27-May-10 17:47:16

Thanks for that and nice of you to check with your friend again for me. Has definitely made me feel more relaxed about the situation. I'm a complete insomniac anyway, so will probably sleep a lot less than the baby!

babyphat Thu 27-May-10 20:30:36

i had dd in st thomas' in 2008 and loved it, but in the home from home bit so got my own room, is that an option for you?

actually i started in the hfh, got transferred part way through due to a bleed, but they transferred me back afterwards as the room was still free. not sure if CS is a possibility or a definite from your post?

all the midwives that dealt with us were lovely though, and we were in for a few days in the end as we were readmitted due to jaundice.

and seemed like everything was being cleaned all the time - am sure the room and bathroom was cleaned every day

i would like a home birth next time but if it doesn't pan out would be perfectly happy to end up in St Thomas' again on the basis of my first experience


fabhead Fri 28-May-10 12:45:13

Mine isnt that recent but had ds1 there in December 2004. I spent 5 days on the postnatal ward and in all honesty it was hell on earth, the worse experience of my life after the death of my father. Sorry to be melodramatic but it was filthy and humiliating. Nobody gave a shit. Nothing worked. I had to express as my baby was jaundiced and wouldn't feed initially and they kept trying to force me to give formula. The expression machine was filthy and then broke completely. I asked for it to be fixed or replaced and they said no one could do it (it was over xmas and new year), DP and I had to break into a cupboard behind the nursse station to get clean expression kits and formula as no one would be there for hours at a time. The ward was filthy and staffed by a succession of, well, bitches frankly, who were rude and unhelpful. A lady's baby rolled out of the bed onto the floor in the night, she was very distressed and we pressed the emergency button, no one came, couldn't find anyone. The floors were thick with dust. I could go on and on.

When I later complained they said it was not normally that bad but over christmas and new year (he was born 27th dec) lot of agency staff - that maybe explained it but still didn't excuse it I don't think. I can only hope it has improved since. My SIL gave birth in the home from home bit in 2005 and had a completely different experience. They were very happy with it. I think if there was any danger of ending up in the medical post-natal ward for any length of time I would try and sort out an alternative.

Second birth was at my local hospital in 2007 where I left straight after the birth so don't know how 'normal' this experience is.

Mingg Fri 28-May-10 13:00:54

If you end up having a c-section your insurance is unlikely to cover the costs in full. In that case it might be cheaper to go to Portland (if you care about costs that is) because Portland is a BUPA hospital.

emben12 Mon 31-May-10 14:38:24

Babyphat - thanks for that feedback. A c-section was looking like a possibility at one point because the baby was transverse. However, it has just moved to head down and engaged! I was just looking into all my options just in case. The HFH is definitely an option as long as I can do the whole thing without an epidural. Difficult to say when you've never done it before. But very glad to hear you had a good experience there.

Fabhead - sorry you had such an awful time. HOpefully since then they've done something about it. Sounds like Babyphat's more recent experience was much better.

Appreciate everyone's feedback though.

poppy34 Mon 31-May-10 14:41:29

Would add that had dd in lansdell and didn't seem to be full on any of occasions when I was there so could take a chance.

Can't rate St Thomas highly enough for care I got.

fabhead Mon 31-May-10 21:07:42

I have only heard good things about the home from home - not sure why is should be (or was) so different from the post natal ward but I would try for there (I wanted to but they wouldnt let me as had high blood pressure). Good luck, you will be fine without an epidural i am sure - can try the water birth and all that good stuff in the HFH. I've done 2 with just gas and air - it's doable!

emben12 Tue 01-Jun-10 19:57:36

Thanks both, that's encouraging. Will keep my options open and do my best to stick to the Home from Home. Would definitely like to try a water birth so fingers crossed. Just want to get it over with now!!!

sparechange Fri 04-Jun-10 16:17:42

Mingg, the Portland isn't a BUPA hospital. It is owned by HSA, which owns lots of other private hospitals in London, although BUPA insurance will pay for certain treatment there, up to the limits of the policy

chocciemousse Thu 03-Jan-13 21:07:35

Hi, I'm new to this site so firstly hello and secondly sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place. I am thinking about having my baby at Thomas's. does anyone have any recent experiences with them? Also does anyone know if I can go in as an NHS patient but pay for a private room for postnatal care? I hate the idea if being in a noisy ward with no privacy. Thanks 😊

lovetomoan Fri 04-Jan-13 20:13:46

Chocciemousse, if you can afford it, use the private post natal place at St Thomas'.
It's about £1000.00 now but I am sure it will be worth it.
I had to stay in the NHS post natal ward after an EMCS and it was not fun. In fact, I decided to discharge myself when I was not well (lost lots of blood) but I couldn't stand one particular midwife, she spoke to one baby next to me: drink (formula, mother was diabetic) your milk or you will be in the NICU soon.
She said that my baby boy was naughty and greedy (I had my nipples bleeding from a bad latch).
She also said that my baby was crying too much and was keeping the other women and their babies awake. By then I was fed up and I said: Well, this is a post natal ward, all babies cry and if the women wanted a quiet night, then this is the wrong place, this is a hospital and not a hotel.

Like I said, I discharged myself, still anemic and not strong enough to hold my baby boy.

Good luck and PM if you wish smile

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