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Not eligable for NHS antenatal classes?(21 Posts)
I had my 16 week midwife appointment yesterday and was told that because I had made a choice to have my baby at a different hospital to my local, which is in the next town over and happens to be in a different trust, that it makes me ineligable for free NHS antinatal classes. Basically I have been disowned by both NHS trusts because I have my community midwife apointments in one but will have my hospital care in another. This was not explained to me when I booked in with the other hospital or at my other appointments until now. Has anyone else had the same problem? I'm not sure if I want to spend �300 on NCT classes, I was thinking about it but I now have had my choice taken away from me, which seems very unfair to me.
Can't you transfer all your care to the hospital you want to give birth at?
So, tell them your going to give birth at the local hospital, and when you go into labour, rock up at your prefered hospital - after all, you were shopping there as you went into labour, weren't you??
I already transferred care to the new hospital 8 weeks ago, I have new notes, and have had appointments with midwife and consaultant in the new hospital. I'm very happy with my choice and I don't want to go to my local NHS trust (for many reasons). Yet 8 weeks later they suddenly tell me I can't now access antinatal classes because of the decision and it's non negotiable. I can't transfer community midwife care to the new hospital trust, I was told this was also non negotiable. After feeling in control of my situation after changing hospital beacuse I was being let down by my local trust, and being told it was my free choice to make I now feel adrift again and I don't think it's fair other women should feel this way. but who do I challenge about it? Is there any appeal process? It seems not.
I'd be interested to know others experiences of this. Only yesterday I selected my hospital at my first midwife appointment and it is out of area ( I live on the edge of the trust). The only difference they told me was about having additional midwife appts and the hospital doing my bloods. If this also impacts on the free antenatal classes I'll be a little annoyed!
Where I live I was offered the grand total of a 2hr NHS antenatal class. Decided to do NCT on the basis a 2hd class not enough for an anxious first time mum.
As frustrating as that sounds, you won't be really missing much. From memory, my NHS 'classes' were at/with the hospital anyway because one of the sessions was about who to contact, where to go and what to do when labour started; this was the most useful of the classes.
The other classes were parenting and breastfeeding classes which weren't much use (in my opinion).
Having said all of that as a first time mum, I'd have freaked out if I'd been unable to accesss them.
Push the issue with the hospital. I don't understand why you wouldn't be eligible for classes there if your care has been transferred to them. Good luck.
p.s. I didn't do the NCT classes and woun't have forked out for them myself BUT they do give you a network of new parents who understand exactly what you are going through right when you need it most. So you could think of them as an investment in your post natal mental health :-)
Get in touch with your local Children's Centre, ours offers an excellent antenstal course, plus lots of groups for once the baby arrives.
I only made it to one NHS antenatal class due to ds1 being premmie and tbh you're prob not missing much that you can't find out through books or online... NCT is much more thorough and great for networking, I believe. Would try for that if you are keen to join one, but don't stress if not, really don't think essential!
I doubt I learned anything at the NHS classes I attended which I couldn't have picked up with 30mins browsing mumsnet. Tbh I enjoyed our NCT classes for the socialising and for getting DH more involved but I didn't really learn much new there either.
It seems rather unfair and frankly stupid to deny you access to the classes, after all if you're not well informed on birth, feeding, safe sleeping etc you're probably going to be coming back for more NHS services.
Can you contact your chosen hospital directly? With mine, info about classes and how to apply are on the hospital's website and you contact them directly. I wouldn't just take your midwifes word for it.
Incidentally, I found the classes really useful, especially because it gave me a feel for the midwife team and the hospital and I'm glad I didn't pay for NCT classes. However, you could get all the same info from Mumsnet and other online guides.
I went to the classes at the hospital where I had DS (which came under a different Trust) as one of the classes included a tour of the department, where to go on arrival and things like that.
I was at a different hospital due to medical complications, but I doubt that made any difference to what I was entitled to. Patient's Choice an' all that.
Don't accept that you're "not eligible".
My local pctwas Ealing and provided community midwife. Had baby in Hammersmith and Fulham and antenatal classes at hospital. No problems, only 3 years ago.
My NHS classes have a catchment of 3 or 4 local Doctor's surgeries. At the first one they were expecting about 5 ladies and 12 turned up. I really doubt they would turn you away once you were there - they'd just get a couple more chairs out!!
As suggested above, phone and find out when they are on - they don't need to know your back story - and then just turn up.
Just an update for those who are interested. I contacted my docors surgery practice manager and asked them again if what I was told by the midwife was true and they came back to me insisting that I couldn't have the NHS classes. I have now got in touch with the head midwife at my local hospital (i.e. the one I transferred away from) to get her take on it and to see if this is a blanket NHS policy or just a local decision. I don't have regular midwife appointment at the new hospital yet so I have no contact details for anyone there yet, If I don't get any joy with them I will being going to my local MP next.
I know I may not be missing much if I don't get to do the classes, and I may end up doing NCT anyway, but I don't like the idea of other women being put in this situation who perhaps can't afford NCT classes and may not have family to pass on good information about breast feeding, caring for the baby etc.
Fundamentally I think it's a really unfair policy and has made me feel abandoned by the services that are supposed to be taking care of me in a vaulnerable time.
Query it with your Primary Care Trust. They are in change of these post-code-lottery type decisions.
Ex community midwife here. We had mums from three hospitals in our area - two different trusts and yes they came to our classes. We cared for them postnatally. Find out when this changed because it didn't used to be the case. Most hospitals have classes at the actual hospital for mums out-of-area ie living in different trust.
In my area our trust hospital can be up to 1.5 hours away and there are three other hospitals in other trusts that our closer.
Our community midwives provide pre-natal care, classes and post- natal care regardless of which of the four trusts you give birth in.
I think you should be able to access whatever is most convenient to you. As its meant to help you.
Mine covered 2 diff hosp anyway.
Its the bf, labour etc advice that might be useful.
It wont actually cost them anything.
Its not really choice if it affects your other options.
The main thing i remember is when mw said you can ask for an epidural but you may not get one
I wasn't offered any anti natal classes. So went in 'blind' as it were, midwifes lost my notes so I didn't really have any appointments with them.
It was ok, I just went with it (no baby experience either) trusted my instincts and trusted the midwives at the hospital.
A friend did go through nct for hers though. She found them good, but she had to pay
As an alternative can you look at aqua natal classes? The council run ones in my city are the exercise class then a chat/session with a midwife. I've not been to them myself yet so don't know how effective they are. But it might be worth looking in to?
With regards to your PCT, it sounds quite shoddy. If you have birth at another hospital, they'll charge care back to your PCT (or they should) so what does it matter where you give birth or get your ante-natal classes. Your still pregnant and still going to need to the care/knowledge. Just stand your ground and complain further. Go right to the top if you have to. more because of the principle of the matter and like you say, others that may be in same position.
I'm only 15 weeks, not even been told about classes yet but friends have told me that it's only 2hrs long anyway and they only went so OH was getting some info.
(Btw I wouldn't want to spend £300 on classes either! Can think of other things to spend it on.)
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