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South London mums - St Thomas' vs St George's?

15 replies

elfran · 16/06/2020 10:32

Hi, everyone. I have just (as in yesterday) found out I am pregnant with my first baby. I understand I need to self-refer to the hospital of my choice for antenatal care, which at this stage is a bit daunting. Of the three whose catchment area I'm in, I'm considering St Thomas' and St George's.

Any recent experience of either would be great to hear about. I've found a few threads comparing them but all several years out of date.

I know I want to give birth on a mid-wife led unit (I might even want a home birth, but not sure I'll be allowed as I'm a bit older - also I might chicken out of this idea!). I'm pretty much equidistant between the two hospitals, but the drive to St Thomas would be longer due to traffic. Love the idea of the views of the Thames from there, but aware that's probably not the best criteria for choosing! Grin

OP posts:
Zitouna · 16/06/2020 10:48

I had exactly the same choice - went for St.Thomas’s for my first baby in 2018, and about to have my second, but with the home birth team linked to St Thomas’ this time. Main reasons for my choice were

  1. St. Thomas’s nearer to work so more convenient for antenatal care (tho I didn’t have many appts so that didn’t really matter in the end)

2. My SIL had given birth there so I had visited and was familiar with it/liked it.
3. The views! Have some fab first baby photos looking over the river
4. My DH works in healthcare, and in general had a view that St.Thomas’ was the ‘better’ hospital in terms of standards/ratings etc.

I was in the MLU and it was very nice. I‘ve also had a ‘caseload’ midwife for both pregnancies- basically seeing the same midwife for all appts, who comes to see me at home (until C19) and who I can call with any Qs/worries - that has been really nice. Some restrictions on home birth at the moment mean it won’t necessarily be her that comes for my labour at home - but I think they are getting back to normal service soon. You don’t have to be planning a home birth to be caseloaded. As far as I know, they don’t offer case loading at St. George’s, but I could be wrong.

All that said I know lots of people who were very happy with their births and care at St. George’s, so I think either will be absolutely fine.
elfran · 16/06/2020 10:57

Oh, thank you - one of the things I was wondering was whether you could have a caseload midwife (at either hospital) without necessarily planning a HB. My sister has strongly suggested that caseload is the way to go.

(My sister is actually a midwife and it is taking all my resolve not to call her, fess up and get her advice on all of this - but she cannot keep a secret for the life of her and the whole family would know soon! Just don't think I'm ready for that yet.)

OP posts:
BeanieBabyLovex · 16/06/2020 10:59

I have chosen st Thomas and had the choice between there and kings I didn't want kings at all.

I worked at guys and st Thomas hospital
Know so many who have had their babies there and spoke highly of their care
The cleanliness at the hospital has always impressed me and the staff in all departments I've found are lovely

Oatmilk1 · 16/06/2020 11:30

I had a similar choice. Both maternity units seem good but St Thomas's hospital overall seems to be better. Plus I was recommended St Thomas by my GP and two friends.

Have been happy so far (scan dates given quickly after self referring) and my sonographer was very thorough for 12 week.

Have had 2 appts with midwives - both over the phone, two different midwives. I have emailed my midwife team a couple of times and gotten good/quick responses.

Canadianinuk1 · 16/06/2020 14:24

Hey ladies! I’ve actually chosen St a Thomas (I’m not from here, so I literally just googled best maternity hospitals and St. Thomas came up first haha luckily it’s close to me) - I had my booking in appt already, the midwife was great but she said she would send me a text with all the contact info (phone number for maternity/early preg unit in case I need to call, email etc) but she forgot to and I don’t know who to call to get this info. She booked my next few appointments so I got those notifications, but can anyone help me out with those contact numbers/email in case I need it? Would be much appreciated!

elfran · 17/06/2020 08:09

I'm not sure @Canadianinuk1, hopefully she texts you soon. They do make it very difficult to contact people, don't they? (Probably understandable, they'd have people like me calling up to ask every question under the sun if not.) PS I am Canadian too!

Can I ask if you're having a caseload midwife at St Thomas'? It's my main priority at this point, but I know some hospitals only offer it if you're doing a HB, which I'm not decided on yet.

I am also now considering Kings, I'd ruled them out initially but it was based on some misinformation. Might have to start another thread to get thoughts on there as well!

OP posts:
Oatmilk1 · 17/06/2020 08:12


Are you using the maternity app? Details are in there. Otherwise there are some contact details on the hospital website you can try.

Zitouna · 17/06/2020 15:44

Hi @Elfran the case loading midwives at St Thomas’ are called the Olive Team - I think of you mention it on your self referral form then they should get in touch with you.

snowballer · 17/06/2020 16:08

Had my first at St Thomas's and they were incredible. DD nearly died during birth, and I wasn't even aware of how serious my crash section actually was until I saw my notes sometime after. Everything was incredibly calm and professional and I was so well looked after.

Also, on a lighter note, the views from the labour ward are to die for!!

elfran · 17/06/2020 16:26

@Zitouna yes I found that yesterday evening, and emailed them. Had a lovely email back this morning from someone saying that unfortunately they only take on women planning home births.

Thank you though!

I've now started another thread about Kings, which may offer caseload care to non-HB's, but I haven't figured that out yet.

OP posts:
Zitouna · 17/06/2020 20:18

Oh that’s a shame! I was caseload for first baby and never planned a Homebirth - they must have changed the rules. Sorry to have misled you!

Canadianinuk1 · 18/06/2020 11:52

Sorry for the late reply! I actually don’t know/didn’t think to ask! So used to Canada where you just follow with the same doctor (we don’t even have midwives where I lived) so this is all new to me haha

Canadianinuk1 · 18/06/2020 11:54

My response for elfran sorry my replies aren’t directed for some reason lol and yay another Canadian in London! Love it

Canadianinuk1 · 18/06/2020 11:55

@Oatmilk1 thanks! I didn’t think to look there!

ArialAnna · 18/06/2020 12:05

I believe St. Thomas's is supposed to be the 'better' hospital. That said, I've had two babies at st George's (both emergency c sections) and it was fine. I didn't live in the catchment for st Thomas's.

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