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can I give birth at any hospital?

(23 Posts)
Princessbaby1984 Wed 11-Nov-15 18:01:45


I am new to this site and not sure whether this is the right place to post.
So I was wondering do I have the choice of which hospital to give birth in/ book myself into.
On the maternity notes in my area you have a choice to go to 2 birthing centres one 23 miles away from where I live and the other 10 miles away, the main hospital with a birthing centre attached is 5 miles.
My question is if I can go to a birthing centre from where I live that is 23 miles away, surely I can go to another hospital, not my local one that is 13 miles away. I thought women had a choice of what hospital/ birth centre they wanted to give birth in, as long as you can get there and it isn't miles and miles away.
Can someone help please, I refuse for personal reasons to go to the local hospital and would rather be at a midwife led unit where the labour ward/ hospital is next door and the one 13 miles away is only a 20/25 minute drive and obviously I wouldn't be the one doing the driving.

sepa Wed 11-Nov-15 18:30:23

I don't think you have a choice of all hospitals. In my booking I had a choice of 2. I would check with your midwife if you have reasons not to go to one and preference to go to another which is closer.
It may have something to do with the trust that runs the hospitals

Princessbaby1984 Wed 11-Nov-15 19:03:40

hi thanks for your response. I don't want to go to the hospital closer to me, I want to go to the hospital that is 13 miles away. I have heard such bad stories about the one that is only 5 miles away but the one 13 miles away I have heard nothing but positives. If they allow you to go to a birthing centre 23 miles away, why cant you go to a hospital 13 miles away.

Sighing Wed 11-Nov-15 20:09:45

It will depend on local district boundaries and counties etc. I live on a border I can access the two nearest to me and a further one in my county. But my friend who lives 5 minutes from me will not be offered those in my county as they fall under a different nhs trust area. Crackers as at the furthest point away in that area the time to travel is as much time as it takes for me to get to that areas hospital, which I can choose. Crazy!

Topsy34 Wed 11-Nov-15 20:22:35

Technically, yes you can choose which one you birth at. we have 5 hospitals within an hours drive, and 2 MLU within half hour. we are home birthing, but still had to choose a back up, so i chose the easiest drive.

it gets a bit awkward though as I have had to rebook under another hospital within my county to get the homebirth team on call, but if I need/want to transfer I could go to either as I have had blood tests under both NHS trusts.

they prefer you to book under one and stick with it, but you can change your mind and book else where.

cranberryx Wed 11-Nov-15 20:22:51

It depends on what 'trust' they fall under, if they are under the same trust you shouldn't have a problem.

I have been under the care of three hospitals, all within a 25 mile radius for this pregnancy simply because of some of my appointments have been made last minute and they have booked me in at the ones closer to home, but the hospital I plan to give birth at (midwife led) is 12 miles away.

It's worth talking to your midwife about it, she should give you the options.

One lady at the same doctors as me was going even further afield but it was in the same trust so it was fine.

Topsy34 Wed 11-Nov-15 20:25:18

ooops, i correct myself, I have just checked NHS web site and apparently maternity services arent included in the choices thing.

its really odd as at booking the mw asked me which hospital I wanted to birth at and chose homebirth but back up at he one in the next county over.

Princessbaby1984 Wed 11-Nov-15 22:10:38

that's what I would like, the hospital that is 13 miles away is just the next county over, so I guess would be a different trust. there is another hospital in my county but its 25 miles away! but I guess because this one would be under the same trust I would be ok.
I could always just really kick up a stink until I get what I want.

Princessbaby1984 Wed 11-Nov-15 22:13:12

topsy34 I am guessing your midwife was ok with you going to the next county over if you need to go to hospital?

Brummiegirl15 Wed 11-Nov-15 22:30:48

You may find that you can give birth in the hospital that you want - but if it's a different trust, you will have to transfer all your care to that trust including midwife appts. Whereas the hospital further away is the same trust.

For example my local maternity unit in Worcestershire has just been closed and everyone is being transferred to Worcester Hospital which for some is quite far.

Other women are being offered option of Birmingham which is actually closer, but a different trust so all their care has to transfer over to that trust. Including normal midwife appointments

Princessbaby1984 Thu 12-Nov-15 10:24:15

thank you for your replies. So the hospital I want to go to in the different county( 13 miles away) is under western sussex trust but the hospital 25 miles away is under Hampshire trust which is the county I live in. so it is do able to have the baby and your care where you wish, would I need to change my gp surgery too or could that stay the same?

CalypsoLilt Thu 12-Nov-15 12:05:14

What would happen if you were "in the area" and went into labour? Like oops I'm 50 miles from home and my waters have gone? (devil's advocate here).... also if on the day the labour unit is full, you get re-directed to another hospital anyway :-/

Princessbaby1984 Thu 12-Nov-15 14:22:36

the thing is the hospital that is 13 miles away would take 20 minutes to drive to, so not that long at all, the hospital that used to be in my area which is now just a birthing centre is also a 20 minute drive from where I am. this was before the facilities from that hospital moved to the hospital 10 minutes drive from me and where women used to go if they couldn't go to a midwife led unit, even though both labour ward and midwife led was on this siite. so my argument would be it takes 20mins to get to the place in my area that used to have a labour and midwife led facility in it and it also takes 20 mins to get the hospital in the county just outside my area which houses both, so why cant I go to the one out of area, even though its not my local. I have personal reasons why I don't wish to go to the one 10 mins away. but as I also have said if they allow you in my area to go to a birthing unit 23 miles away, then surely t hey would allow you to g o to a hospital that has both on site and is 10 miles less.

Icklepickle101 Thu 12-Nov-15 14:39:44

My midwife told me off the record as long as the ward isn't closed due to it being full if you are in labour they can't turn you away

Not sure i would be that relaxed effectively gate crashing?

Sighing Thu 12-Nov-15 16:26:20

I had to "gatecrash" for DD2 it was a (brief due to my labours) saga. I was booked for a homebirth. Midwife came to see me at around 9 said yup You're in labour but not soooo far along. I just have to nip to see another woman in the village. 15 mins later she called to say the community midwives were called back to the hospital as it was so busy. I'd have to go in (labour ramping up). Called them. Too full, go to x local hospital. Called them. Too full go to hospital 40 mins away. Jump in car (labour in a lovely pattern) arrive at said hospital. They said they were too full. Could i go to the next county... i said errr. No. I want to push. They grumblingly put me in the assessment ward. Midwife said she'd be finished her shift in 30 mins but did checks. She wandered off to see about getting room available. I gave birth in the door way being wheeled into a lush looking delivery suite. I and the only woman admitted after me (stuck on the motorway, gave birth in an ambulance sent to retrieve her) were on the ward with the antenatal pregnancies (pre eclampsia/ high risk). Our babies had lots of eyes to watch them for our trips to the showers, and nab me a sandwich just as i was arriving the lunch trolley was going!

Topsy34 Thu 12-Nov-15 16:30:55

princess she actually recommended going to the next county hospital for all my scans and should i wish to birth in hospital as its the closest (one junction on motorway) and excellent care. She said she thinks all pg women in our area should automatically go under wiltshire instead of Berkshire because of the proximity of wilts to where we are.

I could have chosen oxford, reading, swindon, basingstoke or winchester hospitals for scans so i dont see why OP cant choose?

SnozzberryPie Thu 12-Nov-15 16:40:51

I think if you show up at any hospital in labour they won't turn you away, unless they're full. Otherwise what would happen if you were on holiday when you went into labour? I am booked for a home birth but if I need to go to hospital, and it isn't urgent, then my plan would be to drop dd at my parents house and then just go to the hospital nearest to them (which also just so happens to be nicer than the one closest to me).

Frazzled2207 Thu 12-Nov-15 16:55:53

You can choose any hospital you wish. However midwives in your area will be set up for patients having babies at a particular hospital and if you are going against the local norm then you may have to travel to your chosen hospital for antenatal appointments/scans etc.
Contact your chosen hospital and they should let you register there.

Princessbaby1984 Fri 13-Nov-15 12:34:54

that is true what if i was to go into labour whilst on holiday, it has been known to happen women go away at 36/37 weeks for a weekend what ever and go into labour......cant be expected to go all the way home 60 miles away for example.
when i put my post code into the nhs choices search thing the one 13 miles away comes up as a choice, i believe if it wasn't within range then it wouldn't show up, like the one 25 miles away doesn't come up as an option. it wouldn't bother me travelling slightly further away for ante natal care etc and to be honest the reviews for the one 13 miles away are so much better than the one local to me, i want to give birth where i feel happy, safe and comfortable ( well as comfortable as can be whilst in i wouldn't be comfortable in my local.

kimberly1 Fri 13-Nov-15 22:24:43

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okpa11 Sat 14-Nov-15 12:11:51

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wonkylegs Sat 14-Nov-15 13:52:18

Talk to your midwife about it. I am booked in at a hospital in the adjacent trust but still get community midwife care in my home trust.
Mine was because I'm high risk due to a medical condition so preferred to be at the bigger regional centre (which has a better reputation) than the local district general but also because my husband works at the regional centre and it made it easier for him to come to scans etc.
It was no problem but sometimes there are communication errors (blood results on different computer systems) but I'm good at carrying all info with me.

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