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St Mary's Paddington

(35 Posts)
goldenoldie Sat 09-Apr-05 08:11:44

I'm thinking about having my anti-natal care at St Mary's - anyone had a baby/anti-natal there? Any views? Do you have to wait ages to see a midwife for appointments? Are the wards really crowded and noisy? Is is clean? Interested in your experience.

hoxtonchick Sat 09-Apr-05 09:07:02

i had ds there 3 years ago & had very good care. there was another thread about this recently - here .

Kiwifruit Tue 12-Apr-05 11:04:41

Hi Golden Oldie. I've done a labour ward tour at both St Marys and UCH, and although I'm currently booked at St Marys, am in the process of trying to switch to UCH. While I was waiting for the tour to start at St Marys, there was a heavliy pregnant woman (think she was in for observation) standing at the reception desk, waiting for attention and about 5 midwives walked past her and into the office without asking her if she needed anything.

I thought the atmosphere at UCH was much nicer, and the midwives whom I have spoken to have been very pleasant and informative. Also, the post natal ward is 2 to a room, rather than 5 or 6. And the delivery rooms at UCH are much more spacious and nicer IMO. St Marys doesn't have a birthing centre. Both looked as clean as each other.

Have only had my booking in appointment at St Marys so far, and it was very perfunctionary. Had my nuchal scan done privately as couldn't get one at St Marys within the recommended window (11 - 13 weeks).

Just saw your post about UCH - I would say to go to St Marys if you will be more comfortable, as there's not a lot in it really.

beansprout Tue 12-Apr-05 11:13:16

I had ds at St Mary's and it was ok but I wouldn't go there again to be honest. All the trappings of a busy teaching hospital. If you prefer somewhere else, I would go with that. Good luck whatever you do!

goldenoldie Tue 12-Apr-05 13:56:50

Thanks for all the info. Will have to go and have a good look round St Mary's and make my mind up then - but def. not going back to UCH - I'd rather deliver in the middle of Sainsbury's - probably get more care/support/attention too - as well as a bag of shopping!

ThomCat Tue 12-Apr-05 14:02:42

I was born there, can't remember what it was like though

IlanaK Wed 13-Apr-05 15:06:51

I had ds2 there 10 months ago and think it was aweful. I had all my antenatal care there as I have an underactive thyroid. Clinics were always packed and you had to wait ages to see anyone. The mnidwives were rude and uncaring. I saw a different consultant each time so there was no continuity of care at all.

I had a planned csection and although I have no complaints about hte actual care during the procedure or on the labour ward immediately afterwards, the postnatal ward was my idea of a living hell. I checked myself out against medical advice after 2 nights as I could not stand another minute there. It was dirty (and I mean really dirty with overflowing bins in the toilets etc) and the midvies on the most part were dreadful. On night one, having had a csection and being totally immodible, I had managed to get ds2 out of his bedside cot and realised that he had a dirty nappy. I called a midwive you practically threw the nappies etc at me and told me to do it myself. The only way I could was on my lap on the bed. I had an allergic reaction to the pressure bandage they used (not their fault really) that got infected and was in terrible pain. The mnidwives would not give me anyting except paracetomol and then we finally found a GOOD midwife (totally by chance) and broke down in tears telling her all. SHe checked my chart and found out I had been prescribed stronger drugs but was not being given them by the midwives. I also witnessed other mums (mostly first timers) on the ward begging and crying in the middle of the night to breastfeed their babies (they needed a lot of help and support) while the midwife was rough and abrupt with them, telling them they had 10 minutes to get it right or they would HAVE to give a bottle.

It is only now that I can really write about this without seething with anger. We almost made a formal complaint, but just wanted to forget about it in the end.

I had a csection at another hospital out in Essex with my first baby and it was nothing like this. I plan to have a third and there is no chance inhell that it will be at St Marys.

IlanaK Wed 13-Apr-05 15:08:25

Forgot to say - and this is a shameless plug! - I still live locally and now run a breastfeeding support group which you are more than welcome to attend while pregnant if you would like some info on breastfeeding before the baby arrives

goldenoldie Wed 13-Apr-05 15:30:09

No thanks - I have no problem breastfeeding - it's just finding a decent hospital to deliver in that is the problem................

GhostofNatt Wed 13-Apr-05 15:40:28

I had both my kids there - ok the first time, pretty crapy the second time (midwives rushed and unpleasant, panicky junior doctor, dirty ward etc) - feel there must be something better than that and would look for it if havinga further baby...

beansprout Wed 13-Apr-05 15:45:50

Gawd, it's all come flooding back. I was there in October and the bins still hadn't been emptied!!

Also, I had a c-section so was pretty flat out, but was not told how to call for a nurse (button hidden away in a tv in my cubicle that I wasn't interested in). I was left for ages at a time. Dp took ds for a little walk and saw the paed who decided to give him his check up. He assumed dp's teenage daughter was the mother (?!) and so didn't come to get me. The first I heard was a nurse walking past my cubicle telling a colleague, very loudly, "the baby in cubicle x, had meconium ALL up it's back, what a mess, nappy hadn't been changed for ages". I felt AWFUL. And still no-one came in to see if I was ok.


Chuffed Wed 13-Apr-05 16:37:36

I posted in the other link but had a totally different experience although couldn't wait to get out and home.
The midwives were busy but did help a lot with breastfeeding etc, the wards weren't spotless but I wouldn't say 'dirty' when I was there.
Next one (whenever that is...) will probably be born there by scheduled c-sect and I have no problems with that prospect although IlanaK your experience has certainly made me think.

Chuffed Wed 13-Apr-05 16:38:43

Kiwifruit I was in a 4 person room I don't remember seeing any 5-6 people but even that was a bit of a mare to be honest. 3 other people's babies keeping you awake everytime they cry you think it is yours.

goldenoldie Thu 14-Apr-05 19:20:54

Wish I could afford the Lindo wing.............

Milly1968 Sat 16-Apr-05 20:49:14

I've given birth at st Marys twice. My experience both times has been that the midwives and doctors on the labour ward are very good, however, the care on post natal wards is awful. The first time was particularly traumatic as I got very little support from the midwives. One in particular got very stroppy when I had the audacity to ask her to help me change dd's nappy when she started passing large amount of meconium. I actually found that the midwives who do the day shift were okay, however, the night duty midwives (who I think are agency staff) were absolutely awful - rude, lazy and very unhelpful. I think that they see the night shift as a chance to sit around reading the paper and drinking tea, so they get very stroppy if anyone actually asks them for help.

The second time round I actually came up from the labour ward with 2 very small twins, I got very little support and help (no one showed me how I could breast feed both of them together), however, it was actually less traumatic than the first time around as I was mentally prepared for the fact that I wasn't going to get any help!

As for the bathrooms, I'd rather not remember about those.

Anyway, best of luck. So long as you have a straightforward delivery you shouldn't have to spend more than 24 hours on the post natal wards.

goldenoldie Sun 17-Apr-05 10:05:49

oh dear - I'm expecting twins - maybe I should look elsewhere?

Milly1968 Sun 17-Apr-05 14:05:56

Sorry, Goldenoldie, I didn't mean to put you off going to St Mary's - congratulations on expecting twins!

My anti natal care at St Mary's was fine, although as someone else has mentioned you do wait a very long time to see someone when you attend the anti natal clinic. I actually spent a lot of time on the labour ward from 26 weeks onwards as I used to get runs of BH contractions on a regular basis and I was never sure whether they were the real thing or not. I have no complaints whatsoever about the care I received on the labour ward. I ended up checking myself in at 3am on several occasions because I couldn't sleep as the contractions were so strong! I was always seen by a midwife pretty quickly although it often took longer for a doctor to appear.

One thing that did bother me about Mary's is that although their SCBU is excellent it is almost always full. This means that if you do go into labour before 36 weeks you may end up being transferred to another hospital. However, I think this is pretty much the case for all of the large London hospitals. When I was 29 weeks, everyone really thought I was going into labour and I was almost transferred to a small hospital in Essex as there was no spare intensive care cots anywhere in London - a shocking situation.

I know several other people on this thread have complained about the post natal wards, however, I'm not really sure it's any better elsewhere in central London. Certainly, friends of mine have had equally bad experiences at the Royal Free and Chelsea and Westminster.

By the way, if you live anywhere near Queens Park, some friends of mine run a twins club on Thursday afternoons at the Hopscotch nursery. If you'd like any more info about hospitals/twins etc do come along. I think almost all the twin mums who live near me had their twins at St Mary's, and while everyone complains about the post natal care, I don't think I've heard any complaints about the labour ward which is obviously much more important.

Best of luck!

onlineid Sun 17-Apr-05 14:37:51

Message withdrawn

mirchops Sun 17-Apr-05 18:24:26

Hi, am due on Thursday. booked into St. Mary's. Only been to see the place once as all check ups have been at woodfield wing. Have only seen paedetricians and doctors as my first was an emergency c sec at QueenCharlotte's. Saw ONE midwife ONCE and she was pretty standard by all accounts. Had ds1 a queen Charlotte's two years ago and although St. Mary's looks pretty run down in comparison (and smaller and busier) I'd say all night staffs are rude and insensitive every where and midwifes at birthcentre at QC were the very reason I had to have an emergency c sec in the end they pretty much left me for 4 days without reading each others notes and I was seen by 9 of them). it was purely down to midwifery negligence. And this was at a new purpose built modern hospital that was as clean as you'd wish for. I think an emergency C sec or becoming a first time mother or both can make any mother feel that staff are rude and horrible to them. I didn't get the medicine I asked for and one midwife asked me to run up and down the hall 12 hours after I came out from the op. (thinking about it, she most have been barking mad?!) Anyway i'm trying for a VBAC at St. amry's and have so far only had the very best of suppport. Must admit though, I'm not looking particularly forward to spending time in the post natal ward. (At QC they have 4-6 beds rooms btw)

Eeek Sun 17-Apr-05 18:33:20

If you're expecting twins can you go to Queen Charlotte's - they specialise there. They get an awful lot from the IVF unit there. I found them to be wonderful but there are other threads for more info

goldenoldie Sun 17-Apr-05 19:13:41

Eeek - I've been thinking about Queen Charlottes - but I live in Islington and think it might be a bit fare to get to in a hurry?

Milly1968 Sun 17-Apr-05 20:04:46

A friend of mine had twins at Charlottes last year and wasn't particularly impressed, especially as her twins were born 6 weeks early and were almost sent to another hospital as their SCBU (which is meant to be one of the best in the country) was full.

Best of luck Mirchops. I am sure you will get very good care on the labour ward at St Marys. If you end up with another C-section (which hopefully you won't) you may be lucky enough to get one of the 2 bed rooms on the post natal ward. I got one of these when I had my twins and it was certainly better than being in one of the larger rooms.

hoxtonchick Mon 18-Apr-05 13:21:04

have you thought about the homerton, goldenoldie, if you're in islington? i had ds at mary's 3 years ago (high risk pregnancy - diabetes) & the care was fantastic though the post natal ward wasn't. am now pg again & at the homerton as it's local. really can't fault them.

mirchops Mon 18-Apr-05 17:46:44

thanks Milly1968 I am actually looking forward to getting this baby out no matter how! do you think the reason why they allocated you to a 2 bed room could have been that you had twins? I'll hope for that anyway...

Oh and goldenoldie I highly recommend not going too far from your home when in labour, I was half an hour car journey from QC and approx the same to st. Mary's am definately not looking forward to doing that drive w contractions! I did 3-4 tours back and forth to QC w contractions, what a nightmare! Best of luck though whatever you choose. (I still think no matter where you go in London post natal care will be pretty awful I'm sorry to say, my GP just told me that there is a 15 % shortage of midwifes in London area and tehy tend to put them all in antenatal depts. but as long as they are good to you in labour!)

goldenoldie Tue 19-Apr-05 10:07:46

Hoxtonchick - would not go to the Homerton unless I was shot or a victim of violent trauma - apparently this is what they are best at dealing with!

Had midwives visit me at home from the Homerton after #2 (even tho I delivered elsewhere I was on their 'patch'). They were rude and useless, would not like to be at their mercy for #3.

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