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Kingston Hospital or St George's or Chelsea & Westminster. Which hospital would you choose?

(32 Posts)
CCTu Mon 28-Jun-10 14:11:39

We are moving from north London (St Mary's Paddington) to Southfields one month before due date and need to decide on which hospital to move to? The nearest hospitals are Kingston Hospital or St George's or Chelsea & Westminster. Any information or views on experiences would be greatfully received, as this is our first child.

pumperspumpkin Mon 28-Jun-10 14:34:53

I don't know anything about Chelsea and Westminster but of the other two I would choose Kingston purely because I had two children there and all I ever hear when people are talking about St Georges (not maternity to be fair, but in general) is complaints, rolling eyes etc etc. This might be completely unfair.

As said above, I've had two children at Kingston - one an emergency c section at 33 weeks, the second a planned c section. In both cases (and I know I didn't have a natural labour so prob not the best to judge) the labour ward/theatre people were brilliant. The neonatal unit were also great. Post-natal - well, first time round I was completely unprepared and to be honest in shock at being there but I found the care more or less non-existent and no one told me what was going on. Perhaps because I was spending as much time as I could on neonatal I wasn't there for rounds etc as much, but still it wasn't as though I was the first woman to have a baby not with me. Second time round I had an individual room, the midwives were helpful and it was a much more positive experience (but then I was also a second timer and everything had gone according to plan!).

soniaweir Mon 28-Jun-10 16:33:33

I am about to have my second at st georges. with my ds they were brilliant during labour - i could not fault the midwives one single bit. they were excellent. i ended up having a ecs and that all went fine. it was just after that it all went a bit wrong. the post natal care was awful and just let me be after even though i had gone through a very long labour followed by a c section. i got no support from the midwives about breast feeding and in end discharged myself as i could not stand it anymore esp at my husband had to leave at 8pm every night so had to depend on help from the staff. i don't think this is a problem just with st georges though, i think it's a problem in most hopsitals. i don't have any experience of the others.

my other advise is go with the one that is nearer as once those contractions start the last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic.

anyway good luck!

DastardlyandSmugly Mon 28-Jun-10 17:07:33

I had my DD at C&W (ELCS) and had a fantastic experience but I know that there are people who have not had a great experience there.

I've also heard good and bad things about St George's.

Might be worth trying to go and have a look round?

PuzzleRocks Mon 28-Jun-10 17:16:43


Congratulations on your pregnancy. I have experience of both C&W and Kingston. They could not have been more different.

My older daughter was born at C&W in 2007 and both the ante and post natal care were shocking. This was three years ago though so things may have improved.

Kingston was fabulous. My younger daughter was born there last year and I always recommend it to friends. I was stunned at the disparity.

Chesterado Mon 28-Jun-10 21:17:17

I only have experience of St Georges but it is very recent (last week!) and very positive. I had the same choice of hospitals and chose Georges because I wanted to use the Carmen Suite (midwife led unit)but with the comfort of knowing we were a only a couple of floors away from the expermain delivery suite if there were any complications. We had the relaxed, natural waterbirth that I had hoped for and I can't fault any of the antenatal or postnatal care we received.

Also FWIW Georges is also our nearest, and after the speed at which things kicked off for us I was very glad we had chosen the option closest to home!

bluemango Mon 28-Jun-10 23:13:10

I live in Southfields and had my DD at St George's in 2007 and DS at Kingston 2009.

I decided (begged) to change hospitals because the experience at St George's was so bad. I know a lot of it is down to luck/staffing on the day, and my luck obviously wasn't good, but it was also the hectic, frenzied atmosphere as a whole, and the seeming lack of care from so many of the staff, not to mention the traumatic birth itself.

Kingston, although annoying to get to for antenatal appts (unless you're driving), was a completely different experience. It was calm, friendly, easygoing and helpful. St George's is more like St Mary's in terms of scale, whereas Kingston is small (much of the hospital is only two storeys high). Honestly, it was a fantastic experience all round and I couldn't praise them enough.

I know St George's has a more advanced neonatal unit, which is why I chose it the first time, but I actually felt in much safer hands at Kingston. Somehow the scale made it feel that if something went wrong, the midwives would be able to talk to each other and reach the key staff who mattered. At St George's, on the other hand, something did go wrong and I was left unattended for far too long, staff weren't available and the midwife kept giving me bad/incorrect information (by the end the doctors were sighing/rolling their eyes and correcting her in front of me, which didn't help my confidence).

Oh, and on a practical/comfort level, you almost always get a private room afterwards at Kingston whereas at George's the rooms are shared between four I think, which can be a nightmare. Also, the carpark is almost directly outside the maternity ward at Kingston but quite far at George's.

Good luck whatever you choose!

bluemango Mon 28-Jun-10 23:15:14

ETA - Actually, don't know why I said it's annoying to get to - you can go direct on the train from earlsfield.

DastardlyandSmugly Tue 29-Jun-10 09:50:56

To clarify I had DD at C&W in 2008 and I was under the high risk team so had exemplary pre-natal care. The post-natal care following the ELCS was also very good.

As I said I do know people with bad experiences there too.

AKMD Tue 29-Jun-10 19:57:14

No idea about any of the hospitals but C&W have the highest rate of caesarean births in the country, which you might like to take into account.

Tootingbec Wed 30-Jun-10 10:56:43

I had my first baby at St Georges and plan to have my second there too in October. In summary:

Antenatel care plus some additional scans for minor placenta issue - all good(consultant gave me some free 3D scan photo's at 30 weeks!)

Actual labour - midwives brilliant, couldn't fault them and I made use of the midwife led unit initially (en-suite, pool, beanbags etc) and then had an epidural downstairs

Postnatel care - rubbish. Midwives seemed to have morphed into witches from hell, constantly woken up by cleaners banging around at 6am etc etc. Anecdotal evidence from friends who have had babies all over London (Kingston and C+W included) all say the same - not sure what happens postnatelly but generally a bit crap.

Hope this helps.

Needaname Wed 30-Jun-10 20:36:49

I'm Southfields too and had DD at Kingston last year and having another there later this year. Kingston is the one of the three that everyone tries to get into and they were fab. Get the Dr to refer you now though because it's difficult to get in.

ande Thu 01-Jul-10 13:51:35

Hi I had my DS at Kingston at the begining of June this year. The delivery ward suite were fantastic, each and every health care prof was caring and helpful and very reassuring. i had to have an ECS due to severe fetal distress and the team were amazing. The postnatal ward I was on (Worcester) were fantastic - my own room, en-suite bathroom and caring, efficient midwifes. I hate hospitals, to the extent where by I have had hynotherapy to try and ease the anxiety - BUT my experience was so positive I was more than happy to stay! HTH

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Jane054848 Thu 01-Jul-10 17:21:35

I live around that area and had my last baby at West Mid because it scores higher than Kingston(a 3 instead of a 4) on the government health charts they produced. But anecdotally, I hear really positive things about Kingston from people in the area. The morbidity / mortality stats are better at West Mid, but Kingston seems to be a nicer experience.

If you did want to go for West Mid, you can book a private room for about 60 quid, which is brilliant.

A couple of my friends went to C&W and did not speak very highly. Infected caesarians etc.

Phord Mon 05-Jul-10 20:57:35

Sorry to ask what may be an obvious question, but, do both Chelsea & Westminster and Kingston offer individual rooms during birth?

Thanks very much in advance.

muminthecity Mon 05-Jul-10 21:24:44

I had DD at C&W in 2005, it was the most awful experience of my life. I had an EMCS under GA, the staff were horrible and the post natal care was absolutely shocking. They may have improved in the last 5 years but I would steer well clear.

tvfriend Tue 06-Jul-10 20:05:00

Had both mine at C&W- DD in 2007 and DS last year. No complaints at all. Both early so needed some special attention and was in for 5 days the first time and 9 days the second.
Ante-natal care was great and post natally it really wasn't too bad at all although think I probably got more attention as babies needed more help.
Have friends who have good and bad things to say about Kingston and C&W.
Don't know much about maternity at St Georges but the paediatric team there are great (DD has seen them a few times).
I would think that Southfields is maybe a bit far from C&W?

(and yes-individual rooms during birth!)

mintyneb Tue 06-Jul-10 20:29:05

had an induction at Kingston 3 years ago and although it involved a lengthy labour I couldn't really fault the care I received. I didn't get my own room afterwards though and had to share a ward with two other women.

One midwife in particular was fantastic the next morning and picked up that DD had a problem and got her moved straight into the neonatal unit. She was then transferred to St Georges later that day and had surgery at 3 days old

Whilst the care in St Georges neo natal unit was on the whole very good I couldn't say the same about the midwife team on the maternity ward. I had my post natal care transferred to them but when I went for a check up (the afternoon after DD had her surgery), they were very brusque with me and said they were far too busy to see me but if I sat in the corridor and waited one of them might be able to look me over. needless to say after 5 mins of hearing newborns crying and proud dads arriving with car seats to collect mums and babies to take home, I could stand it no more and ran off out the ward in floods of tears.

So I would say go for Kingston, if nothing else it looks so much newer inside and as someone else said you don't have as far to walk from the car park to the maternity unit!

Bicnod Tue 06-Jul-10 20:38:03

I had DS at Kingston last year and it was fab. I used the Malden Suite (birthing pools), had very supportive midwives who let me keep pushing for longer than they usually would have without calling a doctor as the baby wasn't in distress. I was desperate not to have intervention and they really supported me to do it. I even had a room to myself after DS was born. They let me go home when I wanted to as well (I hate hospitals) so I was home within 12 hours of giving birth. The midwives who visited me at home after the birth were from St Helier hospital and they were also lovely.

soniaweir Sun 11-Jul-10 15:29:31

I just had DD in St georges on friday and what change when i had DS. The delivery staff were still fantastic, no change there but postnatally the ward seemed much more organised and the mid wives were much better and more sympathetic. i am sure there is still improvements to be made but definitely better than 2 years ago.

i really wanted a VBAC but ended up with another section but don't mind as the health of my new daughter was at risk as was my own. the knew how important it was for me to have a vbac and gave it as much opportunity to happen but it didn't. they discharged me this morning with no problems.

Kingsroadie Mon 12-Jul-10 14:28:46

I had my daughter at C&W in Nov - care during labour was v good - I had a midwife I wasn't very confident about and requested another senior midwife to come in too - which she did. I had three midwives when I started pushing and a student. (Which I thought was a good think - meconium in the water). Anyway the room was private and I stayed there for 5 hours post birth. I also requested an epidural and had it within an hour (after the emergency c-section was done on someone else).

Aftercare not great - they did come round and do checks etc but i needed a lot more BF support than I got simply due to staff shortage - I got the best help the two nights I was in as there was a fab midwife who spent a while with me.

We lived only 5 mins drive away though and it felt like a lifetime! I would say how near the hopsital was would also influence me... smile. When I eventually have another baby I will go back to C&W.

Beegey Tue 13-Jul-10 09:52:36

I had my DD at Kingston last year and, though I have no experience of other Maternity Units, Kingston was fab.

Antenatally at bit annoying in that you often have to wait around for appointments and administratively they can be quite dreadful, but the care I recieved was exceptional.

I had a long, hard labour; baby in OP, forceps, retained placenta but consider it such a positive experience, largely due to the midwives professionalism and genuine care.

I didn't really want to go home! I had lots of help afterwards establishing bf, which was really important to me and did not come naturally...

One other slight irritation was that they were a bit lax in remembering my meds postnatally so I had to keep getting up in the middle of the night to go searching for my medication. But frankly, I was wake anyway!

The unit is very popular and if you do decide to go there, you must try to book ASAP. My cousin left it too late and, despite living in Kingston, was turned away.

Congratulations and good luck!

annick2015 Tue 13-Jul-10 14:06:04

hi everyone,

i'm 18 week pregnant. that's my first baby i'm really concerned now about going to st George hospital after reading the reviews, anyone can help whether it's better to change to C&W hospital?

KnitterNotTwitter Tue 13-Jul-10 14:14:37

Hi there I had my DS at St Georges in Aug 2008 and had a great experience. The staff were all lovely and I was happily discharged from there 6 hrs later and heading home. The only sadness was that the Carmen Suite was closed so we couldn't use that. I'm intending to go back there in Feb when I have DC2 if the planned homebirth doesn't happen... I was born there and wouldn't consider any other hospital tbh - I'm like a salmon returning to a particular river to spawn...

FWIW I also had my ectopic treated there in March this year and they were great (once they'd realised my tube had burst!)

My neighbour just had her baby at C&W and was sent home 3 times which I thought was pretty poor - you should have heard the language that drifted through my walls at 3am!!!

KnitterNotTwitter Tue 13-Jul-10 14:15:05

oooh and welcome to Southfields - it's a great area, particularly if you've got a small person!

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