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London: Taxi or Drive to hospital?

(17 Posts)
sophUK Wed 30-Mar-16 12:09:49

Hi everyone,
I'm just starting to think about how we will get to the hospital.
Does anyone have any advice on getting to the hospital by car or by taxi? My partner is not keen on driving as it means parking etc and could be more complicated. I'm not sure what is best. Any opinions?

Starspread Wed 30-Mar-16 12:16:59

I'd suggest taxi; my NCT group swapped numbers of taxi firms that agreed ahead of time they were okay with taking a woman in labour (ask your midwife or hospital, they'll know which firms will do it locally). I think your partner's right; you don't know how long you'll be there (could be a couple of hours or a few days!) - taxi is a much simpler choice.

Artandco Wed 30-Mar-16 14:24:19

We just hailed a black cab from outside and was fine. We took empty car seat with us and retuned same way the next day both times

zoomtothespoon Wed 30-Mar-16 17:18:52

I had DS at UCH and my dad drove us up there and picked us up. He always waited anxiously outside the room for the baby to be born and burst in through excitement when the midwives announce his arrival.

duckyneedsaclean Wed 30-Mar-16 17:21:21

Which hospital is it? Car park or no?

Blu Wed 30-Mar-16 17:24:15

Hospital parking can be astronomical. £48 last time I took DS in overnight.

Squaffle Wed 30-Mar-16 17:27:50

We're in London and planning to get a black taxi using the Hailo app (like Uber for black taxis). The car park at our hospital gets very full and there's not always the guarantee of a space. Also don't want either of us to be thinking/worrying about parking whilst in there! I heard that not all minicab companies will take a woman in labour due to public liability insurance, however black taxis have it in their code of conduct that they will. They can also use bus lanes if things get urgent! Good luck x

chaosagain Wed 30-Mar-16 17:40:18

Also planning a black cab (more room to move around, kneel up as well as the code of conduct thing).
The idea of either having to park a walk away from where we need to be, queue to get into the car park or be dropped by myself at the door while DH parks are not prospects I relish. Never mind the cost - the hourly rate would mean it was extortionate, even if it's a straightforward delivery!

KnitsBakesAndReads Wed 30-Mar-16 18:42:32

We're planning to get a taxi. DH has phoned a few companies to check they're happy to take women in labour so we have a few back up options if our first choice taxi company is busy etc.

If you're getting a mini cab then I'd also make sure you and DP know the best route to the hospital. We got a taxi to one of my antenatal appointments just as a 'dry run' and the driver, although very nice, didn't know where the hospital was and didn't have a sat nav so we had to give directions. All fine in the end, but might have been a bit stressful if we'd ended up lost while in labour!

duckyneedsaclean Wed 30-Mar-16 21:04:58

Hospitals don't generally promote it, but if you're staying in (i.e. in labour) they can usually give you a car park waiver.

SliceOfLime Wed 30-Mar-16 21:08:53

I got a local minicab from Islington to UCH, sat on a folded towel in case of water leakage grin I remember lifting myself off the seat with that handle thing that's over the window during contrarians when I was on the way in with DD2 - was 9cm dilated when we arrived and my waters broke as we ran through the doors ...!

BeardMinge Wed 30-Mar-16 21:42:51

We booked a cab (ELCS so easier to plan!) parking near the Whittington is a bitch and dp ended up with a £60 parking ticket by day two as he was so sleep deprived and parked in a resident space (despite it being a genuine error - he had paid for a ticket at the machine, just not realised it wasn't a valid spot -our appeal to Islington Council fell on deaf ears).

jaffajiffy Thu 31-Mar-16 05:35:45

I did Hailo and sat on an incontinence mat (Tena. Worth having for post partum mess anyway) which was good as my waters broke. You won't want your DP discussing parking with you or leaving you at the door or anything like that. You usually have ages before the baby comes apart from good friends of ours who actually gave birth in the back of a black cab so, apart from some groaning, it should be a straightforward journey for the driver, at least.

cherrytree63 Thu 31-Mar-16 05:44:50

I work in the maternity unit at a London hospital, and we do give parking permits once the woman is in active labour (if you can find a space).
The hospital also has an account with a cab firm, and the drivers are all used to having passengers with all sorts of conditions, as well as labouring women.

SquirmOfEels Thu 31-Mar-16 05:46:59

Don't ever drive in labour.

One slightly more intense contraction, and you lose control of the car. London is so congested that means the chance of a prang is high. Which will, in the best case, delay your arrival at the hospital. In the worst case, it injures possibly seriously, you or the people you hit.

SquirmOfEels Thu 31-Mar-16 05:49:29

Sorry - I took "my partner is not keen on driving" to mean you were considering driving yourself. I realise (too late!) that may not be what you meant at all. In which case, ignore me.

sophUK Thu 31-Mar-16 11:12:26

Thanks for all the feedback, really helpful! smile

We're going to Queen Charlottes. Planning to take a taxi, definitely sounds like the best option! It's only a 15 min drive.

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