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Why can't I choose where to have my baby?

(13 Posts)
user1472662726 Fri 28-Oct-16 09:28:29

I'm due to give birth in April and had my booking appt yesterday.

I had my first two children at a,central London hospital with a good reputation. This hospital has since taken over two suburban hospitals with a bad reputation. These are nearer to my home but I don't want to have the baby in either.

When I arranged my booking appt I was told I could not have it at the central hospital, I had to have it at one of the suburban ones as it's nearest my home and "we are all one hospital".

When I went for the appt I told the midwife I wanted to give birth at the central one. She was not happy, lots of huffing and puffing and she asked me why and several times tried to get me to change my mind. I mentioned the birth centre at the central hospital and she said "oh have they got one, I didn't know".

I also asked for my next appt on a Monday or Friday as I don't work those days and she said the only day I could choose is weds afternoon as that's when the clinic runs!

I came away feeling very strongly i do not want any care at this hospital and that because the central London hospital trust have taken over two local hospitals, and say people have to have care at the one nearest to them, that any choice I have has been removed.

I was under the impression we had choice re where to give birth. What can I do? Can anyone point me to legislation that shows we have choice on where to.hsve antenatal and maternity care?

Thank you and sorry it's such a long post.

user1472662726 Fri 28-Oct-16 14:44:59


lljkk Fri 28-Oct-16 14:54:07

I bet U can express preference, not the same 100% choice.

ComputerDog Fri 28-Oct-16 14:57:48

I thought you do have a choice. Have you tried approaching the hospital you want to give birth at and booking in with them directly?

I'm in London and I know loads of people who didn't give birth at their local hospital. Some went quite a long way.

EdithWeston Fri 28-Oct-16 14:59:59

In London it should be easy to be referred to a different hospital. That's the level at which you can exercise choice/preference.

But nowhere are you going to be able to change how any particular hospital arranges its clinic timetables, now which sites have which maternity services (my DC were born in same trust, but 3 different places in 2 different locations because of reorganisations and rationalisations(.

babynelly2010 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:00:05

R u talking about whittington? could you just self refer by online form... They should not deny you having baby there but they my ask for u to have appointments with local mw or gp.

SpeakNoWords Fri 28-Oct-16 15:01:43

Well, you won't be able to choose what days you see the midwife at their clinic, that's why you are legally entitled to take time off work for antenatal appointments.

I'm quite sure that there will be nothing set in stone about guaranteeing you your choice. They'll do their best to accommodate, and if these two hospitals are now one hospital then I guess they can say that you can't choose a specific site. But it's always worth pursuing it as much as you can to get a clear answer, or to change their minds.

biddybid73 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:04:53

You can choose where to have your baby - just approach the maternity services directly at the hospital where you want to go.

As others have said you can't control when the midwives run clinics. But you are entitled to have time off work for all antenatal appointments

babynelly2010 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:05:34

I would check Nice guidelines, I am pretty sure you have aright to choose any hospital, you can even show up in your choice of hospital in full blown labour and they could not deny you unless they are full.

PotteringAlong Fri 28-Oct-16 15:10:30

As everyone else said; you can choose where to have your baby but you cannot choose what day they run their clinics on - that's why you are legally entitled to time off for appointments.

YoHoHoandabottleofTequila Fri 28-Oct-16 15:19:46

You can't choose when they run their clinics, the midwives will be covering different places on different days.

You can choose your hospital but somewhere like St Thomas' have a catchment because they're so popular and will only take outside of that if they aren't busy.

MrsJW15 Fri 28-Oct-16 16:08:52

You should be able to self-refer to any hospital. They don't have to accept you if you are outside the catchment area, but you can try. We have self-referred to St Thomas's, even though we are outside the catchment area. As others have said though, no guarantee you can choose days.

user1472662726 Fri 28-Oct-16 17:27:18

Thanks all. I'm talking about the royal free who now run chase farm and Barnet. I did approach them directly but they told me I can't have any appointments there, they all have to be at chase farm.

I accept everyone's comments re days of clinics, but I feel that as this hospital has taken over two others I have basically had my choice removed and I'm furious. I accept that I can rock up there in labour and give birth there, but surely I get some choice over antenatal care? It seems unless I want to go to uch or the Whittington then I don't!

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