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Any experience of Kingston, St Georges or St Helier Maternity?(34 Posts)
I've been told be my doctor that I can choose between Kingston, St Georges Tooting and St Helier Hospitals and just wondered if anyone had experience/opinions they would like to share. I'm finding it very difficult as there is lots of contradictory info online.
I had DS at Kingston and will be having DD there in March/April.
I was pretty pleased all round; the midwives were all lovely, the delivery suite clean and comfortable, everything went pretty well. And you stand a reasonable chance of getting a single room afterwards for free (which is not to be sneezed at). One registrar did get right up my nose when in labour but I guess that can happen anywhere.
Parking is a bit of a nightmare, though -- fortunately I get most of my appointments apart from the actual birth at other places, so I don't have to worry about it too much.
Kingston does tend to book up very quickly -- I've known women unable to get in there because their books were full even at 7 weeks pregnant(!)
I am booked at kingston, and so far it all seems to have gone fine - much less time spent waiting for scans than where I had my ds (Royal Free, Nth London)- no experience of giving birth there yet though! As PortandLemon says parking is a bit of pain, but virtually all my appointments have been with locally based midwives or GP.
Kingston is the best choice, as others have said though parking is a nightmare.
Do not go to St Helier, I've heard lots of horror stories.
If you can afford it go for a private room after the birth, an en-suite and a bit of peace and quiet will really help.
My experience of St Georges was terrible (gave birth there but did not have antenatal care there as just moved to area)
Midwife constantly said how tired she was while I was giving birth;
Same midwife talked about me instead of to me while I was giving birth;
They inputted my daughter into the computer as someone else's daughter (with a similar name to mine) - took HOURS to sort out;
Once on the postnatal ward it did not get better, my dh was snapped at for asking for some water for me;
I was hardly seen during the whole 24 hours I was there (luckily 2nd birth and I managed without help);
I went home after being told I could to be rung up a few hours later to ask where I was and shouted at to come back in because they had discharged my daughter but not me (my dh gave them very short shrift at that point)
Having said that, that is just my experience but I would never go back there, given the choice. Homebirth for third one!
I gave birth to my daughter at St. George's and it was hell from the moment I arrived (low lying placenta and bleeding and clotting and told they wouldn't scan me for 3 days!) so badly managed that I didn't bond with my daughter when she was born as I just wanted it all over and to get out of there as soon as possible. She wasn't breathing when she was born and they left my mum giving her oxygen!!!! I got an infection and was left very ill with no help from staff at all.
Kingston is your best bet.
Thanks so much for all your replies, and I'm so sorry and shocked to hear what a terrible experience some of you have had.
Well you've confirmed what I was beginning to suspect anyway so I've phoned my GP and told him I want to go to Kingston. Apparently I have to collect the letter from him and take it to Kingston myself as they are so popular I need to get the letter there asap. I'm not 6 weeks yet so fingers crossed I'll have a chance.
Good luck PhoebeLaura!
I'm due 9-10 and have the nightmare too of having to choose (you must be in the same area as me) between the same hospitals but Kingston is too far for me so, as much as I hate it, I may well have to go back to St. George's!!! I've private medical insurance through my work but it doesn't cover birth only pregnancy!!! Am sure most hospitals offer private rooms etc. (for a price but less than completely private) so that's always an option too.
I had dd at Kingston 3 years (and 2 weeks !)ago - had a few issues and so had a lot of scans, antenatal appointments at the hospital and then ended up in hospital about 4 days being induced before having a c-sec and then was in another 4-5 days after due to blood pressure issues.
As a result I saw a lot of the hospital and its staff. All the doctors we met were truly fantastic - went out of their way to let us stay there when protocol should have shipped us off to somewhere where there were SCBU beds (and we live 5 min drive from kingston so were v. keen to stay there whilst in a v. stressed state !).
A bonus was the private, as standard, rooms which I think may now not be the case.
Agree with P&L about it getting booked up - a friend who lives around the corner (so 5 mins from hospital) had to go to tooting because at 7 weeks they were fully booked (more of a potential problem if you are due at the end of the month as they have filled their quota).
Do know of 2 people who have had good births at St George's though (one of which chose that over Kingston as she'd had a bad experience there so shows its very much a personal thing !).
wheelybug -- we may have been in at the same time! 21 Jan 2005 for me...
P&L - I probably heard you birthing (eeewww). I was admitted on 20 Jan and had the nearest antenatal room to the delivery suite (DD born on 24th). I didn't sleep much so did spend all night listening to women screaming. Scares the hell out of you I can tell you !!
Actually I think we've had this conversation before a long time ago when we both had different names (I was Hazellnut a long time ago).
I hear pretty bad tales of St Georges. One was having her baby 40 wks after Valentine's Day and was in pain alone with her hubby in a waiting area with no pain relief until she was very, very close to pushing. Refused an epidural that she begged for due to staff shortages. She had to wait 3 hours to be stitched. The other poor girl laboured for 12 hours before they realised the baby was undiagnosed breech. Could happen anywhere I guess. Postnatal care was not spoken of particularly highly either. Sorry to post so negatively but I hate not to give information where I have it. Hope you find somewhere you like.
Had DD at Georges in 2001 and actually they were alright - not amazing but alright. I liked the fact that they were a teaching hospital as I had some health issues and wanted loads of experts around. The bigger problem was that I had her between Christmas and New Year and there were lots of temporary staff around. After weeping all over the midwives I got my own room anyway - and as they never sent me the bill, I didn't have to pay for it.
But I have heard good things about Kingston - and having visited St Helier once I thought it was a hole. Although various GP friends of mine chose to have babies there, so what do I know?
I had DS at St George's back in 2005
It was dirty and the "care" was shoddy
However other friends have been happy enough to go back there for their 2nd child
had dd1 at kingston nearly 3 years ago and experience was awful - was working there at the time.
Ended up with emcs after 24 hours in labour, was told by a really supportive mw that "the reason it is called labour, is because it is bloody hard work.
dd1 was completely stuck and was never going to come out.
Received little or no postnatal care but was told that I would probably find BF difficult as dd1 was 10lbs2oz and would need more than my milk.
Bed sheet were left covered in blood,bed never made unless I made it.
Problem with Kingston is that it was built for approx 2000 deliveries per year and when I left in 2006, it was handling approx 5000+, with a view to increasing this to 6000 per year.
Have recently had dd2 back home in Edinburgh and the differences in care were unbelievable, had planned cs as did not want to go through same experience again. I saw my notes from Kingston and there were several issues with my care that I should have complained about but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I realise that people do have positive experiences at Kingston, I didn't and as I mentioned earlier because I worked there, I saw things from the other side.
Hope it all goes well for you,
Actually we were quite possibly in neighbouring antenatal rooms for a while there (I was admitted on the 20th as well).
(cali -- definitely appreciate that Kingston is far from perfect, but for those of us living round here Edinburgh isn't an option... and everywhere seems to have the same problems)
Kingston is by far the bestoption from those you have given.
ST Helier is like hell on earth. the midwives are so overstretched tehy end up being rude abrupt and pretty neglectfull.
St George's is a fantastic hospital but the maternity ward is not quite as great.
Kingston is a newer building and as such they seem to have better facilities.
teh parkng is a nightmare at all 3 hospitals though so that shouldn't put you off
Put it this way...went for an organised tour of labour ward at St Helier, 20 sets of pregnant parents being shown round a *very quiet* ward. There was blood all over the floor in the hallway and no sign of a cleaner, despite the fact that it had DRIED ALREADY. I decided on a home birth, but am fated to go back should things go wrong...gulp.
Kingston is lovely, the Malden Suite has TWO pools, and I just wish I could have gotten in.
Having said that, though, the home birth team associated with St HELLier is lovely and they hate the hospital too.
Had my DD at St Georges in Oct 06, couldn't fault the care on the delivery ward at all. Everyone else I know who has delivered there says the same. On the other hand, the postnatal ward is really awful...but I think that this is the situation in any hospital in and around London really, they are so overstretched that once your baby is born safe and sound, they are already focusing on the next lot of labouring mothers...You'll find people that say good and bad things about any hospital to be honest, I don't think it's so much the hospitals but the professionals you have looking after you on the day, how busy the wards are, how many emergencies they have, how your labour pans out etc. Anyway, Good luck!
Hi I am so confused about which hospital I should go to, st Helier or st George's or is home birth the best option?? please could you give me any suggetions
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