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Transport if nearest maternity ward is full?

(33 Posts)
catsofa Thu 27-Nov-14 02:44:45

I don't drive and neither does my DP, so I guess we'll be getting a taxi to hospital when I'm ready to give birth. What happens if the hospital maternity unit is full (as apparently often happens at my nearest) and I'm told to go somewhere else which is too far away to get a taxi to? Do we call an ambulance?

Cric Thu 27-Nov-14 03:04:44

If you go there and they are full I think they would call one for you. I would chat to the midwife at you next appointment ... I am sure she will be very helpful.

Olive1987 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:12:22

They get you to call in before you actual go in. So you'll speak to a midwife and then that's when they'll say they're full if they are. So then I think it would be up to you to arrange transport to the next nearest hospital.
You can ways call for an ambulance though.

usernamefeefifoe Thu 27-Nov-14 10:43:36


Not the same scenario as you but one of the ladies in our yoga group and her midwife think they she may have a fast labour/delivery (lucky thing), and has been advised not to drive to the hospital as it is a good drive away. She has been told to ring the midwives and they will either come to her or send an ambulance if she really needs to get to the hospital if it is not going as smoothly as thought.

I realise that is is not the same situation but as earlier post say speak to you midwife and let her know, she may be able to come up with a solution rather than you worrying about it.

Good luck x

catsofa Thu 27-Nov-14 13:10:45

Thanks, I'll try to remember to ask at my next midwife appointment in January. I'd planned to put a £10 note in the hospital bag for the taxi fare which is at least twice what it will cost to get to our nearest, but if we suddenly need £60 for the taxi we are very likely not to have it, which isn't something I want to try to sort out while in labour!

Mayvis Thu 27-Nov-14 13:17:11

Is it too far, as in the taxi won't go there? Or it'll cost more money?

Can you start saving now just in case?

I had 3 round trips (30 miles each trip) in 24 hours with my first when I was in labour, but not established enough to stay. We drive but it obviously consumed more petrol than if I'd have just gone once.

catsofa Thu 27-Nov-14 16:00:44

It might cost too much, I don't know how far away the nearest place is if my local one is full but imagine if I'd had to do your 3 x 30 mile round trips in a taxi - we just can't afford that!

LuckyLopez Thu 27-Nov-14 16:04:20

Ambulances aren't free taxis though!

You need to stick a few quid away each week or arrange a lift with a family or friend who does drive. That's what I did when I was in labour and dh didn't drive.

Rockchick1984 Thu 27-Nov-14 18:25:58

I planned a lift from a friend for my first birth. If I'd been sent away as not established enough I would have just been staying in the hospital cafe to be honest, wouldn't have been going home and messing her around!

You need to plan for this situation, I doubt an ambulance would take you unless it was an emergency situation. Probably worth asking your midwife how often they close the labour ward though, then you know how likely it is to happen!

Mayvis Thu 27-Nov-14 19:34:02

I don't think you should be contemplating using an ambulance for a non-emergency because you can't afford/haven't saved enough for a taxi.

You've had/have 9 months to save, just in case.

catsofa Thu 27-Nov-14 21:27:01

I'm perfectly capable of getting a taxi to the nearest hospital, it won't be my fault if they're full, although I'm hearing that it does happen fairly regularly even though I live in a big city and the maternity bit there must be huge.

If I had spare cash I'd spend it on eating better in pregnancy, I'll just have to stay at home if I can't get transport to hospital. I don't know anyone with a car.

tobeabat Thu 27-Nov-14 21:34:58

Sympathise with your worries here; if you don't have a car / your partner doesn't drive, this is really stressful to think about. Ignore sanctimonious 'advice' about how you should have saved through pregnancy for multi-trip contingencies; not helpful. Do you have any local forums you can post on / people you can ask as well as midwife locally? I wonder if the hospital you are booked with has to sort out a place for you there or elsewhere, inc transport, once you are there and in labour?

How far along are you?

Sidge Thu 27-Nov-14 21:51:55

Well you don't need to go to hospital at the first sign of labour, so when contractions get closer and stronger then call them. If they are full they'll tell you where to go. You won't have to do a magical mystery tour in a taxi!

catsofa Thu 27-Nov-14 22:15:47

Thanks tobeabat. I'm only 18 weeks so it's not urgent yet, just occured to me as something I should know before it is anything like urgent.

I live really really close to a huge hospital so chances are I'll have no problems, I'll ask the midwife next time I see her what happens if the nearest one is full. I live in a community where a lot of people don't have access to a car so there must be some sort of normal procedure for when this happens, quite possibly we do just go to the nearest and then they sort out transport to wherever I have to go.

I'll write myself a not to leave in my maternity notes so I don't forget to ask!

wwbuffydo Thu 27-Nov-14 22:45:29

I'm with tobeabat - ignore posters about savings. Theyre missing the point. I'm in the same position as my husband doesn't drive. Its not just the taxi fare, which will be steep as we do live 20miles away from a hospital it's also the idea of sharing what's supposed to be a quiet stressful time with a total stranger that worries me. Also what happens if my waters break in a taxi? Or if I Actually have the baby? This probably doesn't help you and im sorry but I thought I would share my worries too because its a big relief to hear that someone is in the same boat/taxi!

Rockchick1984 Thu 27-Nov-14 23:38:06

WW if you were at the point of pushing then you would need to call an ambulance no matter what your current mode of transport happened to be. For waters breaking, if they haven't already gone (or even if they have as they will often continue to leak) I used a disposable bed mat on the car seat, and a towel for extra protection.

MsBug Thu 27-Nov-14 23:46:21

Can you book a home birth? The midwives will come to you and if you do end up either wanting or needing to go to hospital then they will take you.

Bear in mind that if you do end up in hospital you might have to stay in a few nights. Your dp probably won't be allowed to stay so he would have to travel there and back every day.

catsofa Fri 28-Nov-14 02:07:30

I really don't want to make a decision to give birth at home just because of this!

There are several reasons I want to give birth in a hospital, one of which is that my flat would really not be very comfortable to do it in - no soundproofing, little space, fairly inaccessible bed, various other things.

I do live right near one hospital so the chances are I will get in there fine, I really don't want to be ready to call them and then have to change my entire plan to a home birth just because I can't find a way to be driven to somewhere that is equipped properly for a birth.

There must be some way they have of dealing with this, I'll ask next time I get the chance and let you all know what they say. With PTSD and anxiety I would not be happy if they made DP go home without me either!

Hazchem Fri 28-Nov-14 05:18:32

I think if you turn up at one hospital and they won;t take you they have to arrange the transport to the next one be that via an ambulance or a taxi. Certainly when I went to a walk in clinic that said I needed to be seen by A&E the walk in ordered and covered the cost of the taxi to get me there.

Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 05:25:51

I would talk to the midwives and try not to worry. You definitely won't be the first and the midwives should reassure you.

They are bound to have some arrangement. If its worrying you a lot, you could always write or phone now that dwell on it.

I imagine your local hospital won't turn you away.

combtracksinmyfringe Fri 28-Nov-14 06:24:51

Always, always phone the labour ward, don't just turn up!

If your local unit is full and they need you to go out of area they should arrange transport, that's certainly what happens where I work. Good luck!

ems1910 Fri 28-Nov-14 06:40:23

If you ring an ambulance because you are about to give birth, they would just deliver on scene and then a midwife would attend.

They also would only take you to your nearest maternity ward, full or not.

I get it, really. It's really hard sad I was in the same situation with my first as Husband may have been at sea. But ambulances aren't there for transport unfortunately unless an emergency, in which case as I said they would deliver on scene.

tobeabat Fri 28-Nov-14 08:06:25

Oh one thing I did to lessen stress was phone a few local taxi companies to check they would take laboring women to hospital. I then had a list of numbers on my phone and in my hospital bag, at the ready. Got an amazingly efficient driver who knew a speedy back route....

Mayvis Fri 28-Nov-14 13:06:24

I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest someone starts saving in this case. Our nearest maternity hospital is 20 miles away so a taxi there would be expensive, but it is what labouring women in my town have to do if they have no other transport.

If the money isn't needed, then great. But I also think it would be handy to have some set aside for this or for when baby is here, say for instance, to get to out of hours or something.

For what it's worth, I had both my children in the evening (half 8 and half 9) and my husband was sent home as soon as I was on the postnatal ward. This was within 90 minutes of delivering my first and 2 hours with my second. It's quite normal for partners to be sent home once visiting hours have finished.

SophieBarringtonWard Fri 28-Nov-14 14:28:36

ems1910 no, the ambulance would take you to the nearest hospital with space, not just to the nearest hospital.

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