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St. Thomas' or Chelsea & Westminster (NHS)

(16 Posts)
julesldn Tue 07-Jul-15 22:20:01


Found out I am pregnant with my 1st the other week and have the choice between St. Thomas' or Chelsea & Westminster. Not sure which one to choose!

Chelsea and Westminster has a new facility that looks lovely but the reviews are nowhere near as good as St. Thomas' - any advice?!

Hoping for a water birth, possibly with hypnobirthing style relaxation etc.

Thanks in advance!

CheeseEMouse Tue 07-Jul-15 22:24:23

The care I got at C&W was good in April. But as I was only there for a (very) short time before birth I didn't get to use the beautiful birthing centre!

julesldn Tue 07-Jul-15 22:52:24

Thanks for the response smile the birthing centre really does look lovely! Glad you were pleased with your care too! Chelsea - 1, St. Thomas' - 0.

Anyone with any other votes..? grin

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 07:22:49

I had both my daughters at st Thomas's.
The labour care was amazing with both. Postnatal care in2010 was terrible but by 2011 they had really upped my game when I had my second. My second daughter was taken to intensive care the day after she was born and they were amazing. But I had to fight for the staff to assess her as I knew something was wrong. The midwives brushed me off and it was only because a doctor happened to pass and glance at her that she was literally whipped out of my arms and taken off to SCBU.

I was left in a bit of a steer and they gave me my own side room. Then developed post delivery PE and another midwife gave me incorrect dosage and I reacted very badly.

Positively, the SCBU is amazing. It was 2 crappy midwives that gave me a bad experience. Everyone else was absolutely incredible, first class service.

First birth wasn't great there.

Basically if everything is ok they are sort of all right. If things go wrong their emergency care is brilliant. I think you have to be quite balshy and resolute in what you want. No idea how this compares to the NHS anywhere else.

I'm pregnant again but now outside London so this will be a different experience entirely!!

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 07:23:48

* state not steer!

Blobby11 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:44:53

I've had 2 at Tommys and about to have 3rd. They're great during the birth but post natal is dire. However I think that's the case everywhere - there just aren't enough staff

julesldn Wed 08-Jul-15 16:06:07

Thank you both for your replies!
Sorry to hear you had such a difficult time bluewisteria.

It's a shame the post natal care seems to be a bit rubbish as standard in london, especially as the hospitals are so highly regarded!

Any other votes for either hospital? X

Kewrious Wed 08-Jul-15 16:15:19

C&W in 2012 for DS. Fab care. Postnatal wasn't all that horrific- I was expecting worse. Yes, some babies were noisy, the food is a bit shit, and it is a bit warm. But the loos were clean and the breastfeeding support was great.

I was pregnant again, and went back to C&W. Fab again- almost no waiting time to see the midwives- friendly and professional. However, I had a miscarriage, and got sent to the EPU and had an ERPC. Again, I cannot fault the care I had- so compassionate and fabulous. It's a busy busy London hospital but not for one moment did I feel rushed after the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. If I get pregnant again, I am going straight back there.

Also, just to point out that I had an EMCS with DS (planned CS for low lying placenta but I went into labour)- I have always described my C-Section as 'fun' because that's what it was. Lovely doctors, lovely midwives every time I have been there.

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 16:48:13

To be honest, if I were to have another in London and could afford it, I would try and go private postnataly. So give birth on NHS ward/birth centre then transfer to private ward. St Thomas's has one and I think C&W do too. I know that you aren't guaranteed space though as you aren't giving birth privately but worth a shot? Or have a doula. Post natal care is a real shocker in London. With my first I was left at home for 2 weeks with not one single post natal check. I ended up hospitalised for nearly a month with a womb infection, retained tissue and pneumonia. A lot of focus when pregnant goes on birth but I think the first 6 weeks is, in some ways, more important.

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 16:51:53

By the way, I was calling constantly asking to be seen but they told me they were too busy!! Was pretty bad.

julesldn Wed 08-Jul-15 18:21:45

Bluewisteria - I just don't think we would be able to afford the private post natal care although haven't checked so I'm just assuming!

To be honest I'm actually quite tempted for a home birth now - not necessarily because of the horror stories or mixture of reviews of care in hospitals but because it just seems a lot less stressful and a lot easier to be in control of the situation.

So much to think about though - im terrified haha! X

julesldn Wed 08-Jul-15 18:24:36

Kewrious - thank you! Nice to hear that you had good care and breastfeeding support that I'm sure will be useful. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage but pleased for you it was dealt with well. Lots to think about as you really never know what will happen xx

julesldn Wed 08-Jul-15 18:24:36

Kewrious - thank you! Nice to hear that you had good care and breastfeeding support that I'm sure will be useful. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage but pleased for you it was dealt with well. Lots to think about as you really never know what will happen xx

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 18:29:19

I think home birth USA really positive idea if you're thinking of it.

With my second I had a community home both team. It was 6 midwives on a team so I met most when pregnant then two come to you when in labour. I went to hospital to have my waters broken and birth their but the midwives from the teams till came with me which was amazing. Knowing the midwife in labour was incredible. They also did the post natal card so you have an excellent continuity of care.

I would see if there is a community midwife/home birth team to get attached to as I think these are a fantastic option in London.

Post natal doulas aren't that much, there is an official doula website where you check out the ones in your area and prices.


bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 18:29:52

Dunno whereUSA came from?!

bluewisteria Wed 08-Jul-15 18:30:45

Jeez terrible typos, on iphone sorry.

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