St Georges vs Kingston...(24 Posts)
nb also posted in Childbirth but reposting here in case it gets more "hits"
Our new home is situated almost equidistant from both Kingston & St Georges Hospital; we have just moved from overseas, I am 18 weeks pregnant and I need to decide which hospital to choose for ante natal care and the birth
I'm trying to decide and wondered if anyone on here had any experience of either which they'd like to share...
My preference would be a MW unit with pool - but given that my last labour was induction after diagnosis of PE (at full term) and DS was back to back (at Tommies) so I ended up with an epidural - I'm aware this may not be possible...!
I would also consider a homebirth as my post natal experience last time was terrible and I would do anything to avoid having to go on a post natal ward!!
If i end up in hospital I want a hospital which is not keen on interventions, and hopefully will not whisk me off for a C-section at the least excuse!
I also need good consultant care as I have an auto immune condition which needs to be monitored, but so long as it is kept in check it should not cause problems.
DS had a TT which was not diagnosed by the NHS for weeks and they never supported me in getting it corrected which caused no end of problems, which we fortunately overcame with help we paid for ourselves. This is also a factor in my decision!
your thoughts would be appreciated
Do you definitely have the choice? I was in a similar situation to you & Kingston was fully booked. You had to register very early to be accepted (though it was many years ago). I was offered St G, St Hellier or Chelsea & Westminster - I went with St Georges & they were dreadful. Really awful they were full too & I only got in because my waters broke they closed maternity soon after & diverted new patients. I has an agency nurse who was horrible but it could happen anywhere I guess. Had no 2 in Kingston & it was much much much better
Tommy's good, & C&W
I think you;d be best timing which is quicker to get to - Georges are a leading centre of excellence, Kingston's part of the same Trust - but they're both in quite an awkward place to drive in traffic depending on where you are.
Kingston may or may not have the consultant care you need. You are completely entitled to request home birth as preference, but bear in mind this may not go to plan - and bear in mind you'll - probably- need a unit attached to hospital unit if they do let you go for midwife-led delivery (like Tommys I think - not sure of structure of the units at Georges or Kingston)
If you're thinking about a homebirth, SGH and Kingston both have areas they cover, and you'll be in one or the other. You may as well find out which homebirth area you're in as you'd have to swap hospitals if you book with the wrong one and then do decide on a homebirth. I can advise if you post a rough area where you live.
I would have my doubts if you would be cleared for a homebirth with a history of PE. I know our local hospital would have you under consultant care from the off and want to induce you at 38 weeks (surrey based). Their guidelines for PE are literally set in stone.
I would just go to whichever is quickest to get to and most convenient for you. I don't think either hospital has a reputation for being more easy-going although you can look up the stats on the Which website for inductions, csections, etc.
I have not personally heard of great postnatal care anywhere on the NHS, including Kingston which I spent 5 days in. It was incredibly busy, full of agency midwifes, BF advice was terrible and inconsistent and I ended up after being discharged back at A&E with the baby the next day! However, that tends to be linked with a huge number of births happening at the same time and they are just massively overstretched. Surprise surprise 5 years later they are not enough school places either for these babies!
I don't know I just think you have to get lucky and have an easy birth with no complications and then they will send you home asap. But there is no way to plan for that. Its just luck, out of your control. Or you need a great relationship with a great consultant who will agree to some of your out of the norm requests...
A friend who had her baby at Kingston 15 months ago said everyone gets a private room.
However she had a very long eventually forceps delivery and a 3rd degree tear which they didn't seem to be followed up - she healed ok apparently.
I'd always go for a teaching hospital if I had the choice and I chose C&W over St Geroge's as slightly easier to get to from work/home and needed a few extra scans.
I can categorically confirm not everyone gets a private room postnatally at Kingston. There are 4 and 2 bedded bays
You don't necessarily get a private room at kingston.
My experience was a private room both times at Kingston, post EMCS. It's a pain to park there, but all my antenatal care was at Roehampton which is modern, has lots of easy parking and feels calm.
The NCT mums I knew who went to Georges generally had poor experiences - missed breech, high forceps with a lot of damage, that sort of thing.
But this was four years ago - a lot may have changed.
I had my DS at Kingston nearly 3 years ago and found it a positive experience. I was impressed by the post-natal care and especially the time that the midwives took to help me establish breastfeeding after an emergency c-section. But... one of my friends had her baby there just two weeks later and had a completely different story to tell!
I think a lot of it comes down to how busy the maternity unit is on the day. I know it was very quiet when we were there as the midwives commented on it, and hence I got a private room and very responsive care. When my friend was there it was much busier; she was on a postnatal ward and didn't feel well supported by the midwives.
Where you go can depend here your doctors is located. Mine is just in the Kingston Borough, but I don't live in that borough, but it did mean that I can give birth at Kingston rather than in a far less desirable hospital.
Kingston does have a midwife led birth unit close by to the hospital, if you prefer to give birth there and erm... St Georges has the blood bank behind it, meaning that there should be plenty of blood available if you need a transfusion at any time.
You could look at the Which? guide to see which facilities are available at both places. www.which.co.uk/birth-choice/
Had both mine at Kingston. Great experience both times and I got a private room until discharge on both occasions.
Those with private rooms, did you pay for this out of interest. My local hospital charges £195 a night ! I thought Kingstons was about half of that amount...
No we didn't pay. I'm not sure whether you can at Kingston. We didn't know we would get one until I was wheeled into it! The midwife said that if they have one free they try to give them to women who've had a c-section.
This thread is terrifying! I'm booked to go in to St Georges for my first in mid-Feb. Anyone had a good experience there or should I just start to panic now?!
I gave birth at St Georges last September. Overall my birth experience was very good but the aftercare whilst I was in hospital was not great. It is a big hospital so I didn't see the same midwife more than once before hand & the wards were very busy once i had given birth so it was difficult to get much attention from the nurses.
That being said, I had a great experience in the pool whilst in labour & once they realised DS was stuck & needed intervention they acted quickly and were able to deliver him without needing to resort to a C-section.
Having spoken to many people recently they have all said the same. The neo-natal unit at StGs was also spoken very highly of. At the end of the day the staff are stretched hence the post natal care not being great but I would still choose to give birth there again
Timing wise we are exactly in the middle of St G & kingston, although we live in merton (close to Wimbledon chase station).
I've heard nothing good about post natal care anywhere on the NHS, hence my preference for HB if all goes well. If I end up in hospital it sounds like post natal care is a total lottery!!!
I've heard mixed reviews of both St G & Kingston for antenatal & labour care. Again it sounds very hit n miss.
I know I had PE last time but I was full term and 20 kgs heavier at check in than this time. I'm told my risk of having PE again is v low and less than for a new mum anyway. It is also lower than for a mum who has had it before because it usually occurs later in pg if it re occurs. Ie the baby should be out by then anyway!!!
In some ways I lean towards kingston because I hate hospitals so the chance of having my own room is very appealing. On the other hand I lean towards St G if it is true it has a lower CS rate.
Tbh I need to just choose one so I can see MW and get 20w scan organised as I'm now 19 weeks and been back in the country 2 weeks. Whilst I dither time is flying by!!
If anyone knows how I find out which area St g and Kingston HB teams cover I would appreciate you sharing. Could not find the info on their website.
Had my dd at kingston and found the post natal care brilliant but i had an emcs and complications. Got a private room.
It is very very very busy though and my time on the labour ward and at the assessment unit before birth was stressful - overstretched midwives.
Feel bad to say this but am actually pretty sure i only got such good care for myself because my baby was in danger, which us really not good 😱.
That said had to attend st georges epu (same pregnancy) a few times and hated every second of being there - waaaaaay too big and confusing for me.
DS1 was born 10 years ago, so things may have changed since then, but he and I had extensive care at both Kingston and St George's.
Kingston: very modern, shiny, much smaller than St George's, very friendly with lovely midwives. However they had nothing like the level of expertise at St George's, and although they knew I was high risk, one of their consultants completely missed my vital signs of extremely early labour (whilst I was lying in front of him and screaming in pain) and I ended up delivering at 24 weeks at St George's. Kingston would have kept me to deliver there, but their NICU was full - thank God, because their NICU facilities and expertise are good but nothing like as good as St George's.
St George's: I would trust them with my life, and in fact did trust them with DS's life. It's older, less shiny, less modern and less friendly, and in fact some of the midwives were pretty unpleasant and incredibly unsympathetic about me giving birth 16 weeks early. But their efficiency and expertise was streets ahead of Kingston, and their NICU care absolutely superb.
I really don't want to scare you, but given that you had some complications with your elder DC, if you can't go back to Tommy's I would definitely go for St George's over Kingston. Like I said, this was 10 years ago and Kingston may have got better, but we still have a close relationship with St George's and I know it's still very good.
I'm actually reasonably sure that would come under st helier for homebirth provision. I can check for sure on Tuesday. Although just to say a prior PE would definitely mean any homebirth would be outside guidelines. Not to say you couldn't arrange it but it would be possibly a few more hoops to jump through and lots of meetings with SoMs and consultants.
I think Kingston only covers up to the Raynes Park area (as it doesn't show anywhere further east on the front of my notes).
I'd try not to end up at St Helier's if possible. I've not had good experiences at their non-maternity parts. Epsom Hospital is meant to be ok though.
Thanks ladies. I shall look forward to hearing more comments!
I think we actually live in the Raynes park area, at least when I google our address it says Raynes park!
Had mine at Kingston. Delivery great they are focused on that but not so much postnatal. You can pay to be transferred to a private room I think I wish I had done that. It was so busy I was sharing a six bed room with at least one woman who had a baby in Nicu. Felt awful as mine spent most of the night wailing.
Otoh delivery was amazing I had brilliant midwifes who supported me and stay with me well beyond the end of their shift.
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