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Can you show up at any hospital when you are about to deliver?

(14 Posts)
babynelly2010 Sat 27-Nov-10 10:24:56


I am currently booked at Whittington and hoping for the birthing centre. I few bad experiences so far with the hospital and the look of the wards from the tour of the hospital is scary. I was thinking to transfer to UCLH, I am 31 weeks. The only reason I did not do that is because UCHL is 6 miles away from here in north London and during the day it will be hard to get there on the taxi through the central London traffic in case of emergency.
Question 1: when I go into labor can I show up at any hospital with my notes?
Question 2: When is the last time you can change hospitals? I am thinking if I don't get booked at the birthing centere I am going somewhere else for sure.
Thank you.

sillysow Sat 27-Nov-10 12:00:02

I would be interested to know the answer to this too.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sat 27-Nov-10 12:03:01

me too - hoping for ABC at Watford, but GBS means I won't be able to if I still test +ve at 36 weeks. No other pools there, so hoping to go to QE11 at WGC if so

grumpypumpkin Sat 27-Nov-10 12:06:29

In my area I could choose to book into as many places as I liked. I was booked at a hospital and a birthing centre, but then delivered at a different hospital as original one was full and was unable to have MLU as needed induction. The only thing was that they sent me home for a bit (early labour not progessing before indution) and I had to be explicit that I wanted to return to that hospital, despite not being booked there, as they were kind and nice and I felt safe there! smile
If you just "turn up" they will probably take you if they have space, but you will be strongly advised to phone first so they can put you off a few times grin
I would advise booking appt at the UCHL for a chat with them as they will have had this situation before and can put your mind at ease.
Good Luck!

LynetteScavo Sat 27-Nov-10 12:09:05

Well, they are not going to send you on your merry way if you turn up in labour, unless they are full....then it doesn't matter if you are booked in or not.

I changed hospitals when I was over due, so I don't think there is a cut of time around here.

sh77 Sat 27-Nov-10 12:14:44

I changed hospital on my due date (2 different towns). I was lucky that a MW at a local GP saw me and spent 2 hours filling in new notes. She thought my bump was measuring too small and sent for emergency scan, which showed baby's growth had slowed since a month earlier. I was booked in for induction the next day.

I would say that if your preg has been straightforward, it shouldn't be a problem turning up. BUT bear in mind that some hospitals are over-subscribed.

Good luck!

sethstarkaddersmum Sat 27-Nov-10 12:22:56

My SIL lives in the north and was visiting her mum in London when her ds3 started to arrive 6 weeks early so she showed up at the Whittington, as it happens.
All fine except they insisted on copying her notes onto their notes form before doing anything so she had to wait while they did that.

ricketyrock Sat 27-Nov-10 14:39:41

I can sort of answer Q2 in that I was booked into the birthing centre ( if you are not high risk then you will be able to, too) but due to meconium in waters I was straight to labour ward (and glad of the 5 min car journey- rather than 15 mins to UCH). I thought the Whittington was brilliant. So not to be a scaremongerer, but if you are really unhappy with the whit why not change to UCH, as even if they let you book into the birthing centre its only ever provisionally so.

My first experience of the wards was scary too, as i went in for an induction that I then refused. But when it came to the actual labour it was all fine - and the most important thing for me was the staff, who were amazing.

knackered76 Sun 28-Nov-10 08:17:53

I was booked into a local birthing centre (we sort of local!) for my first and ended up at the hospital as I couldn't face the drive! That was on the day I gave birth. I had my scans, etc there so there wasn't a problem. For my second I was booked into the same hospital and then decided to change, on the day of my booking in appointment I went into labour so just turned up and we forgot the notes blush but it was all fine. DH went after the birth to go and get them (bit pointless but we do love paperwork!). As far as I can remember you can't just turn up at a birthing centre as they like to check you are 'suitable' for it ie low risk, and as has been said, if anything isn't quite right then you get shipped off to hospital.

StealthPolarBear Sun 28-Nov-10 08:19:37

LS but they may decide you are OK to transfer to your booked in hospital - most people turn up when they can be sent home.
I was sent home at 8pm and had DD at 11.30 that night!

LynetteScavo Sun 28-Nov-10 16:00:14

Good point!

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Sun 28-Nov-10 16:38:55

midwives do have a duty of care, so if you turn up in labour, they will have to look after you.
If they find you're not in labour, they could just send you home, though.

Have you discussed this with your midwife?

reikizen Sun 28-Nov-10 16:42:21

of course you can! Take your handheld notes with you and as long as you are in full blown labour and they have space they will sort you out!

mrspear Sun 28-Nov-10 16:43:24

Well i had my baby as Kingston instead of Queen Marys; i was visiting friends nearby when i realised i was in labour at 29 + 5. There was no question in their minds - i needed care and so did the baby. And i had no notes!

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