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So confused and in serious need of help

(13 Posts)
ozhodge Mon 13-Jun-11 20:52:02

Hi All,
As a newbie to London (and the UK) trying to decide what we do has been overwhelming. Basically our NHS options are Queen Elizabeth or Lewisham. After a horror start at QEH, we switched to Lewisham. So far, nothing terrible but we keep stressing that maybe we should just spend the £10,000 and just go for private. Its alot of money but we also don't want any traumatic experience. We can't get into St Thomas & Guy due to our postcode but the Lansdell Suite is private so could pay the money to go there. Any thoughts? Spend the money and enjoy the lead up and birth or just suck it up, know it wont be a great experience but have the £10k.
Any other options we aren't considering?

VeronaH Mon 13-Jun-11 21:14:48

i was a bit like you, not from the uk origninally and have no experience of nhs here. anyway we decided to go private but in a public hospital, watford general, this is not our local hospital but the nearest with private maternity care i have a consultant and then private suite. if your thinking of going to the portland go and have a tour and see but also take into account travelling to and from there for appointments etc, there is no parking there i would have chosen there but it would be too much hassle travelling and if in labour and it was rush hour might be a bit of a nightmare, if you can find an nhs hospital that has private rooms etc then go with that. do what makes you feel comfortable and enable you to enjoy your pregnancy. best of luck

aethelfleda Mon 13-Jun-11 21:15:11

Just out of interest, what makes you so convinced that NHS "won't be a grear experience"? Sounds like you've already convinced yourself things will be terrible, so more likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy?

I'm not trying to get at you at all, I don't know either hospital myself, but it sounds like you've decided you need private care to be happy, and £10,000 is a lot of bumbos!!!

ozhodge Mon 13-Jun-11 21:25:30

Thanks for the response.We haven't convinced ourselves that NHS wont be great but after the QEH experience (woman left to miscarry in waiting room in front of everyone else blood and all with 5 nurses stating, we have no beds) and Lewisham being sparce at best, waiting 3 hours even though the appointment time is clearly marked plus all the stories on this baord, its not making us overly comfortable. That's why i wrote the above to be helped either way.
Verona, thanks for the advice. The closest NHS with private seems to be St Thomas hence the Landsdell suite. As they wont accept us generally (else we would just go through NHS), i think the only option to get in there is via private.

MainlyMaynie Mon 13-Jun-11 21:28:27

It depends what you're concerned about. Are you concerned about ante-natal care or about giving birth in an NHS hospital? What bits of it concern you? Have you considered home birth or an independent midwife? Is £10k a huge amount to you or just something you'll do instead of a nice holiday?

VeronaH Mon 13-Jun-11 21:30:54

my god, no wonder you want to go private after all that. if you can afford it then do it i say, hopefully it will be a nice postivie experience which i think is important if this is your first baby, i had my first baby in a private maternity hospital in Ireland and it was fantastic, the care i recieved was great. i am hoping to have a positive experiece here too. best of luck with your decision and hope things work out well.

ozhodge Mon 13-Jun-11 21:32:42

I guess we are just trying to work it all out and if it will be ok. The antenatal has been distant with very little information or chance to discuss everything. My first pregnancy i got very sick and had to have an emergency C section at 35 weeks. Second went well. So they consider me low risk ignoring the first issues just because the second was ok. It seems so simple to them but for me, i almost died on the first one (was in ICU for 4 days).
Then the birth, again not the actual birth but if there is a problem again.
Finally, post natal, the whole, if all ok you go home after 6hrs. Whatever happened to 2 nights, 3 days or at least overnight?

So i guess being brand new to the UK approach, it seems all so impersonal, so little information and so little concern for approach. So wanted to know if i am completely losing it and in fact NHS, through Lewisham, will be absolutely fine.

edwinbear Mon 13-Jun-11 21:36:29

Hi, I'm in Greenwich and had DS at QEH. It was a truly dreadful experience and nearly 2 years later I'm still suffering the physical and emotional damage. However, I'm expecting DC2 in November and have very reluctantly agreed to go back to QEH as the general feeling from the numerous people I've spoken to, including my GP, think it's better than Lewisham - although they are referring not Lewisham Hospital, not the new birth centre which I believe is meant to be good. I also considered the private route as my sister has two fantastic private deliveries but a) I didn't want to be travelling too far for ante natal appointments nor in labour, and b) I had a very straightforward pregnancy last time and didn't feel I needed private ante natal care. So, as a compromise, I have booked a private midwife who is costing £3,200. She is doing all my ante natal care, although I am also attending my NHS ante natal appointments and she will come with me as a birth partner when I go into hospital. The aim being that if I'm ignored for hours and hours on end by the NHS midwives as I was with DS, (including be left alone to push for 20 mins) I will at least have my own midwife with me who will be able to recognise when and if things start going wrong again and be a bit more forceful with them that I or DP, was. I'm also hoping that once the NHS midwives realise I have a private midwife with me who knows what she is doing, they will up their game.

PotteringAlong Mon 13-Jun-11 21:40:53

Have you considered a home birth? I know your first birth might put you off but someone who knows what they're talking about (not me!) could advise you more. Or how about a doula or could advocate for you?

I'm nit trying to put you off going private, just thinking out loud more than anything!

edwinbear Mon 13-Jun-11 21:41:12

Sorry, that should say 'referring to Lewisham Hospital, not the new birth centre'.

piprabbit Mon 13-Jun-11 21:44:22

I think scary things can happen during childbirth, no matter where you are or what you pay.

As a low-risk patient, will your antenatal checks be done by your local community MW (instead of having to sit around in hospital clinics for hours)?

What about the MW-led birth centre at Lewisham? Would that be a possibility? There's a bit about it here on the NCT website. It might be worth contacting your local NCT branch as they will be able to talk to you about local options as well.

VioletV Mon 13-Jun-11 22:16:46

Hiya, why don't you try UCH? I know for a fact they will take you on. I'm not sure if you need your GP to refer you though. I knwo several woman well out of the area including myself (Bexley) who are under UCH/

ozhodge Tue 14-Jun-11 21:01:29

Hi all,
It is really helpful to get the above comments and feedback and it has enabled us to really understand what on earth we are really concerned about. Ultimately it is down to the actual birth (the care and support -- no i don't want to be left alone for 20mins pushing...) and the post natal. The antenatal is fine as we have been through it before with the first 2.
Edwinbear - We checked about the birthing centre and because i had an emergency c section in my first, i have no hope of being allowed there. It has to be for perfect births with no sign of risk unfortunately. As i understand it, they don't monitor the baby per se (machines etc) but support you until ready for delivery and then deliver. Do you find the private mid wife worth it? As you have gone through pregnancy before i would be interested to know as i wouldn't want it to be about "what to expect when expecting stuff"...
Potteringalong - Because of the first emergency, we don't feel comfortable to be at home to give birth. It was so sudden and the hospital we were at (overseas) was wonderful. I hadn't considered a doula only because again the stress is who is actually delivering the baby etc.
Piprabbit - Antenatal is at the hospital unfortunately. As for the MW-led centre, that is the birth centre i referred to above. Unfortunately not a candidate...
Violet - Thanks. They are a 40min drive with no traffic so not really practical.

All, i really appreciate the feedback. It has made us feel better that we shouldn't be so stressed about it all and that NHS care can be positive and acceptable.

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