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Choosing a hospital to give birth

(12 Posts)
Ellsiedodah Mon 16-Oct-17 12:47:12

Hi all, after nearly 2 years of trying and our 2nd IUI I've finally fallen pregnant. We've been asked to decide what hospital to give birth in. How on earth to know?! Our options are: Guys and St Thomas', St George's in Tooting, Kings College Hospital or Croyden Hospital. I'd be super grateful for any experiences at any of these or just general advice on how to pick? Thanks so much smile

Orangebird69 Mon 16-Oct-17 12:54:18

Do they offer maternity ward tours at all? I'd recommend my local nhs hospital as they're bloody marvellous but a bit far from you smile

mindutopia Mon 16-Oct-17 13:26:20

I would book a tour of the ward. I found this to be really informative and helpful. I had a home birth with my first and anyway, we only have one hospital in a reasonable difference, but I still did the tour as I wanted to know what to expect if I did need to be in hospital. I found it really reassuring. I think if I had had to choose between several, it would have been much easier just based on my gut feeling on the visit.

Beyond that, I would think about what kind of birth you want and what sort of facilities you want on the day. If you want to be in a midwife vs. consultant led unit, if you want to use a birth pool (some have them in every room, others only have one or two pool rooms, etc.), do you want to book a private room (if so, have a look at what they have on offer, etc.).

butterflycatcher Mon 16-Oct-17 13:36:46

Hiya, I live in SE22 and was told by GP to self refer myself directly to Kings College. Who has offered you these other hospital options out of curiosity? I have no experience of them as I'm pregnant with my first but would also love some feedback on Kings if anyone can help.

bellagrace Mon 16-Oct-17 13:55:34

I have found the care at St Thomas' excellent so far. I chose them over St George's as I felt the range of neonatal care options at St Thomas' was superior. St Ts do not offer a physical tour but they do have an online virtual tour of their maternity services which you can find on this page: www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/our-services/maternity/about-us/welcome.aspx

As an aside, I visited St George's for a group physiotherapy session and it didn't feel very clean or welcoming, and I felt it was less well signposted than St Thomas'. Personally, having had a chance to visit, I was pleased with my decision to go to St Ts. Having said that, I have friends who have given birth at St George's and have given very positive feedback.

Best of luck with your decision, and with your birth! smile

AnUtterIdiot Mon 16-Oct-17 13:59:29

Isn't Kings a centre of excellence for maternity? I'd pick there.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 16-Oct-17 14:00:45

Also it's near some fab Camberwell restaurants. I'd enjoy my appointments more if I could walk out of hospital and into Silk Road or Angels and Gipsies grin

EastDulwichWife Mon 16-Oct-17 16:40:27

@butterflycatcher I'm in SE22 too and was offered Guys/St Thomas' or Kings. The choice was made over the phone (so no time to do any research!) when the midwife called me to make a booking appointment. I've got my 8 week apt on Wednesday so will ask again, but you should have been given options.

Ellsiedodah Mon 16-Oct-17 16:50:02

Thanks so much everyone. Doing a tour is a really good suggestion and really helpful to hear your experiences and what you've heard (eg about Kings). As I've been down the IUI journey I've been invited to scan at 3 weeks so I'll just go down to Kings then, then decide. Actually, something that might be useful for others in my position: I was given a booklet called 'Emma's diary' by my GP which I've just started to read. Turns out Which? do a guide called Which? Birth Choice - it's an easy to use online platform which shows you what each clinic offers. Unfortunately as far as I can tell, a big help to having a healthy birth is having the same midwife throughout your journey. As it turned out none of the hospitals I listed or Chelsea and Westminster could offer that (unsurprising with cuts I guess) so it just seemed like it makes sense to go with the hospital that offers the most add ons. Kings definitely seems to win on all counts! Well, they have more pools than anyone else which I think I'd like to do. They also offer private rooms if you have to stay on afterwards - at the cost of a pretty nice hotel to be fair, but always good to have the option. Actually one of our friends who had a terribly premature baby was at Kings and said they've been absolutely amazing, so there's a lot pointing to them based on that and what you guys have heard. @AnUtterIdiot - I like the sound of good nearby restaurants! thank you! smile @butterflycatcher - my doctor in Streatham Hill suggested those choices. She'd been at St Thomas' for her own birth and recommended them but she certainly wasn't pushng them. Thanks again all of you, really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. x

2014newme Mon 16-Oct-17 16:52:50

I was transferred from one hospital to another by ambulance during labour as not enough nicu cots at the first hospital.

senzaparole03 Mon 16-Oct-17 17:07:32

I didn't know you could chose! I thought it was down to catchment area...

Clearly I'm on my first pregnancy! I guess West Middlesex is my best option.

Ellsiedodah Mon 16-Oct-17 17:17:00

Yes you can choose - it's the new way of doing things in the NHS. The theory goes it increases competition and therefore standards. Not sure about it though. Anyway, a big consideration as I understand it is being able to get to the hospital easily and quickly - you might go in once or twice to be checked before they finally agree to admit you for giving birth to your bub. I guess it's easier in London as there are so many around.

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