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Any views on Queen Charlotte's Hospital on DuCane Road, London?

(17 Posts)
pmac Fri 08-Feb-08 18:11:07

Hello. I'm scheduled to give birth at Queen Charlotte's hospital at the end of May. Could anyone who has given birth at this hospital share their views of their experience? After the reviews of maternity hospitals that was carried out recently, I'm feeling slightly concerned as I don't know anyone who has given birth here, though obviously it's a renowned teaching hospital. Thanks

catsypug Fri 08-Feb-08 20:38:27

Hi I'm due to give birth at Queen Charlottes at the end of June. I have heard only good stories about the place having just moved to Hammersmith and have met a few mums who have given birth there. So far so good with my midwife appointments and scans. I like the modern antenatal clinic - nicer than St Mary's where I had my first. People say the birth centre is lovely but if you want an epidural then you'll have to be on the labour ward. I'll be on the labour ward then!!! smile

china11 Fri 08-Feb-08 21:16:32

Just had to jump in here - I was born at Queen Charlotte's in 1966. I have no complaints wink

Gangle Sat 09-Feb-08 23:25:10

I'm due to have my baby at QCCH in early April and found it mostly good, so far. Infact my DH, who is a dr, recommended it as one of best maternity hospitals in the country. One thing I was surprised by was that I wasn't offered the neuchal fold test at 11-13 weeks because I am 31 (apparently it is only offered if you're 35+). Pretty much all my friends at other hospitals were offered this so was annoying that QCCH didn't, especially when it's supposed to be so highly regarded.

charlt Mon 11-Feb-08 09:27:12

My wife gave birth to our beautiful baby daughter there at 4.25pm on Friday - just 2 hours before you posted

Initial impressions were great - ante natal care was good. During the birth, standard of care in the delivery suite I thought was very good.

The part that has left me very disappointed is the standard of care on the ward. It is very clear now that there are just not enough midwives with not enough time for each mum. It really pains me to say that given how obviously caring and skilled they are. We ask and ask for help, but more often than not nobody comes or they forget. It took 2 days to be seen by the paediatrician - we really didn't know what was going on all that time.

This is now the 4th day my wife has been in. Just my opinion obviously, but I feel the issues that caused them to keep her in longer were largely due to not being given enough help and instruction with things like breast feeding in the early stages.

Hopefully we're coming home today, and never going back!

I really hope your birth goes well. My advice if you are at QCCH is to be very vocal and persistent in asking for help.

PS- Apologies for being a Dad and registering on mumsnet, but I thought you would be interested in a fresh first hand experience

PPS- Did I mention how lovely my daughter was?

catsypug Mon 11-Feb-08 09:36:48

Gangle I was concerned about not getting the nuchal fold test there too and am also 31. I got it at St Marys when I was 28?? Still waiting for the results of my blood test but honestly what would you do at 21 weeks pregnant if it's a bad result? I don't think I'd do anything now as I'm so far along.
Charlt - think that's pretty standard postnatal care in most london hospitals!! I was sent home 10 hours after giving birth to my first from St Marys because there was no paediatrician to see us. I could have really done with some care and support but nope - nothing - they just don't have the time or room for you! Congratulations on your daughter!

Millarkie Mon 11-Feb-08 09:45:26

I had my second birth at QC labour ward, I arranged a private nuchal scan because I didn't fit their criteria. The ante-natal care was better than that of the hospital I had my first birth at, but very long waits at the clinic for midwife appointments, blood tests etc.
The wards, delivery rooms etc were cleaner and better equipped than my previous birth. Midwife/HCA scarcity was just the same. I don't think any London hospital has enough staff to give much support to post-natal mums unless there is a life/death emergency. At least at QC the toilets were clean, food was brought to the bed (at first birth you had to walk out to corridor and carry tray back, which was impossible for me on the first day post-section so I starved), and they have clip-on bassinets so baby can be right next to you and you can pick him/her up to feed and change (rather than in bassinet on wheels, too far away to reach). That said, 6 hours after the birth I escaped home!

amidaiwish Mon 11-Feb-08 10:38:39

i was born there grin so it must be fab.

Quite a few friends have had dcs there - all had good experiences. Although apparently the midwives for the appts etc can be a bit "gruff" but my friend was told "that is why they are doing appts and not the labour"!

pmac Wed 13-Feb-08 12:22:17

Thanks guys. I really appreciate you sharing your experiences.

charlt - many congratulations!! what's your daughter's name? best wishes & lots of luck to your new, enlarged family

kitstwins Wed 13-Feb-08 13:12:38

I had my twins there at the end of 2006 and I had a really good experience, although I think this was influenced by the fact that a twin pregnancy gets a lot more care and attention (higher risk and mine was very complicated) and, at the end, I moved over to private care/the private ward as I spent the last month in hospital on bedrest and was thoroughly sick of the place by the end. However, I did have experience of both the labour ward and the ante natal ward (both in a four-bed ward and a private room) so I did get to see the NHS side of things closehand and long term.

The labour ward was excellent (sparkling clean, lots of up to date equipment and lots of midwives and doctors/consultants floating about) and I spent several long nights there during the course of my pregnancy. I might have got more attention due to the fact that I was a complicated multiple pregnancy but I still think the staffing levels were good all round - there always seemed to be lots of people about. As for the antenatal ward (and the post natal ward - I walked through it day after day when I was stretching my legs) it was clean, the food was okay (fresh fruit on offer at least) and the loos and bathrooms were cleaned on a regular basis. There were private, side rooms (I think about 8 in total) on the ante natal ward but these were allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and tended to be given to multiple births and/or caesareans. If one wasn't available you got a bed on a four-bed ward. These are pretty spacious and not too bad and although they always seemed pretty noisy on the post-natal side with newborns crying, etc. I don't think it's any different in any other hospital.

I think wherever you go you will get staffing issues. There simply aren't enough midwives and whilst this doesn't impact so much during labour where they are vital, it can be problematic post-natally when you need equal levels of support, just of a different kind. Even on the private ward I found I had to nag for two days to get breastfeeding support (my babies were tube fed and I had no idea how to express my colustrum), which was a bit rich given that the place was plastered in 'Breast is Best' posters.

My advice would be to be vocal. Ask for support and use your buzzer and your voice. YOu'll probably have to ask a few times before you get it and they may label you a pest, but if you get the support you need then the end result is all that matters. I figured that the midwives would forget about me as soon as I was out of the door so I had no qualms about pushing for pain relief or support. You shouldn't have to do it but the reality is that (wrongly) the NHS is overstretched and understaffed and that can be quite hardgoing for a new mother on a busy antenatal ward.

On balance I really recommend it. The level of care is excellent and the place is very clean, both of which are a good starting point. More midwife support is needed, but the same is true of every hospital, and I gave birth at a particularly busy time (four sets of twins alone on the day my babies were born). You may turn up when it's quieter and find the postnatal ward is much less stretched.

I hope so. Go in feeling strong and knowing what you want (breast feeding support, etc.) and prepare to push for it. You shouldn't have to, but it does at least mean that you'll get the support you need.

Hope this helps and good luck.

kitstwins Wed 13-Feb-08 13:14:00

Sorry - typo error. Meant to say that there are private/side rooms on both the antenatal AND postnatal ward. About 6 or 8 in each if memory serves me correctly

riekie Tue 19-Feb-08 11:16:44

Hi all
I have APS ( Hughes syndrome) a clotting disorder and have had 2 miscarriages an one still birth at 35 weeks pregnant. I am now pregnant again and was referred to QC high care ante –natal. I was wondering how the care is and any guidance as to how often they would have to see m, do they do the scans the same time as your appointment or do you get different appointments?

Thanks if anyone can help me, my first app in only 4 weeks away – I will be 10 weeks then!

numum78 Wed 20-Aug-08 17:56:03

Long time since anyone looked at this thred but worth a try...
I've got my Antenatal stage 2 class tomorrow evening at QC and can't find anywhere the details on where and exactly when I'm supposed to be there. The department is always going to answerphone and no response from them as yet. Any recall what time of day their 'evening' class was?

kitstwins Thu 21-Aug-08 11:50:56

Can you ring the main reception and ask? They should know or be able to transfer you to a relevant department. I can't personally help as I never made it to any of the classes - ironic really, given that I was actually IN the hospital at the time.

Hope you find the details.

BeeRoo Fri 22-Aug-08 10:59:57

Hi Numum78 - did you go last night? I was there. What did you think? Went on a bit - think it could have easily been shortened. Do you know what's covered in Session 3? I'm also registered for NCT classes so I'm tempted not to go to Session 3 at QCH.

AnybodyHomeMcFly Sun 24-Aug-08 22:23:41

I had DS at QC and I found the level of care to be very good. They spotted that I had Obstetric Cholestasis at 34 weeks when I didn't have very strong symptoms - benefit of being a good teaching hosp I think.

This meant I had lots of care leading up to being induced at 37 weeks and I was admitted for 9 days before I actually gave birth. Being so long on the ante natal ward was a pain but most of the midwives were v good, only one was a bit non-communicative.

The delivery suite care was FANTASTIC. I had a few complications and at one point there must have been 10 people in the room all caring for me and my baby - and this was at 3am. They were all very calm, supportive and I felt totally safe.

As I had a forceps birth, the doctor did the birthing and so my midwife stayed by my side telling me what was going on and speaking in such a calm voice that I felt very cared for. I cannot praise the delivery team highly enough.

Afterwards on the ward it was ok, as OPs have said they are basically quite rushed off their feet but there was no danger and it was fine. The wards and bathrooms were clean and it was all safe. Also the visiting hours for partners are very long which was esp good for me as I was in for so many days beforehand.

Agree with kitstwins about being vocal btw. I could have done with breastfeeding support and did not know to ask for it. I wouldn't hesitate now, but I hopefully won't need it 2nd time around.

Also if you have a non-complicated birth and are happy with midwife-led care rather than more medical focussed care you can choose the birth centre which has birthing pools etc. But it is also right next door to the main wards so if there were complications during labour, or even if you just change your mind, you are still v safe.

AnybodyHomeMcFly Sun 24-Aug-08 22:24:56

Ah, just read the date of your first post - hope all went well!!

But will help others wondering about the same thing.

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