thinking of paying for a private hospital

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metoo
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby metoo » Tue May 03, 2011 10:00 am

Choose whichever you are most comfortable with. When I enquired about Guy's private maternity care (St Toms was closed a the time) I was told that it's a general unit - not dedicated maternity and that it would be a set of private rooms with a general nurse attending. Basically a hotel room with a nurse on reception. Rooms at the Ritz are cheaper and you could hire a nurse to sit outside!! If there are ANY complications whatsoever you are transferred to the NHS side anyway. As it was my first time and I was terrified of something going wrong I opted for the NHS. The after care seems to be, by consensus, very poor.
However, from my enquiries of the private sector it tends to be the policy of transferring to the NHS if there are even slight complications. It doesn't become an issue about being able to afford 5 days care for a poorly baby -they just don't do it. Look at Prince Edward and Sophie's baby - even a royal baby had to be transferred to St George's!
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mollys
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby mollys » Tue May 03, 2011 1:12 pm

this is obviouosly a topic that people get quite worked up about (that and schools!!) but just to add in my two penny's worth - I went to Thomas' and like most other people I spoke to, the actual giving birth was great - I had a midwife with me throughout (for the 3 days I was in labour), they were continually updating me on my progress (not much!) and when I evenyually had to have a c section, I felt it was my choice - well, it was an emergency sp perhaps not quite my choice, but I understood why they needed it to and therefire wanted it to happen.

Where they fell down was after care both on the ward (40 women, 40+ babies (twins) and nowhere near enough midwives to cope) and at home - a midwife didn't come to see me for 10 days. I was told she would be there in 24 hours, and no-one phoned to say they weren't coming.

Also the ante natal care wasn't great - it was at awkward times which meant I had to take days off work, and was with a different midwife each time.

But, it was free, and I think that the NHS are fantastic. Of course there isn't enough money, but I think they get the priorities right (ie the birth rather than pre and post natal care) and if we are still in London when I get pregnant again I will go back to St Thomas'. Ideally I'd do the birth on the NHS and then get the private room, but realistically I know it won't happen as I will want to spend the money on other things!
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capmum
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby capmum » Tue May 03, 2011 3:17 pm

Hi, I had my first privately and just had my second on the NHS at Tommies. To compare the two experiences I think I should break it down into three areas; antenatal: private care was so much better. I was given far more information and felt very confident about the birth. On the NHS some midwives put the fear of god in me by pushing home births or birth without an epidural (I am afraid of pain!!). Also the nhs seemed to not do a lot of what I thought were standard tests (no tests for strep b, gestational diabetes. Also didn't take the nasal bone into account for downs testing). But I'm no medical expert so there may well be good reason for that. I liked the continuity of care that you get when you go privately (seeing the same obgyn every month is very reassuring and means you don't need to think about birth plans as it's all been discussed).
Birth: I can honestly say that there is very little difference between private and NHS. Delivery suites were of a similar standard, I got the required epidural 15 mins after I asked for it (!!!) midwife was fine and seemed very competant and when things went wrong I saw the consultant straight away and my son was forsceped out (they didn't go straight for the c-section option). All in all I was very pleased with the result.
Post natal: OMG the care was awful!!! Despite my baby sleeping all night and the ear plugs I'd brought with me I got NO sleep. Plus I had no feeling in my legs due to the epidural yet no one would help me change my baby's nappy (born late so hubby had been sent home). And I was stunned to discover that there were no nappy changing facilities. When I asked the midwife she told me to change him on my bed. Revolting! Anyone who has had a baby knows what removing miconium from their baby's bottom is like!!
So if you are nervous and have a bit of money I'd get a private midwife for antenatal care and a private room afterwards.
As an aside my first was very ill when she was born and needed to be ventilated in the NICU. It cost A FORTUNE - think tens of thousands. Fortunately our insurance covered it. No one likes to think that things might go wrong with the birth but they do so you should bear that in mind if you go privately. Best of luck!
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kiwimummy
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby kiwimummy » Wed May 04, 2011 8:08 pm

Another Lansdell suite/St Thomas's. The giving birth was great (apart from the complete cow of a midwife who shouted at me about my suitcase 20 mins after my c section - because it was still where another midwife had told me to leave it and then threw all of my coats and stuff on the floor as she was so angry with me...)

Lansdell suite was my part private option. I don't think it is that great. Yes, I got a private room and there is a midwife floating around. Some were fantastic, a couple were rubbish. The food is the same as on the wards.

The thing that annoyed me was the hospital basically forgot about us, and shunted us to the back of the queue for doctor sign out/pediatric check/everything. I was desperate to leave in the end, and they kept telling me - you're at the end of the queue. Not that I expected to be at the front, I hasten to add, but somewhere in line that reflected when I gave birth and needed to leave.

In the unlikely event Mr KiwiMummy OKs another child, I'll might just go for the Portland. Damned expensive though.
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mumtozoe
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby mumtozoe » Wed May 04, 2011 10:14 pm

I had my daughter privately (Obstetrician led) at Chelsea and Westminster, and it was the best money I've ever spent. We did start off on the NHS, but after various problems we decided to switch and go privately.

I would say that I would NEVER (personally) choose somewhere like The Portland-the selling point of C&W for us was that it is a big hospital with the special care baby unit right next to the private maternity unit.

If/when we have a second we will be saving up to go privately again. I had an emergency c-section first time round, and I was really glad I had privacy and support afterwards.
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MrsOctober
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Re: thinking of paying for a private hospital

Postby MrsOctober » Thu May 05, 2011 11:45 pm

I have now had 2 babies privately at St Thomas'. As my first pregnancy progressed I kept hearing horror stories of the overstretched NHS and how midwives run from room to room trying to juggle all the labouring women. I had read enough to know that a pregnant woman's personal relationship with her midwife directly affects the ease of the birth. I started out at C&W, NHS and attended over a dozen appointments without ever being seen by one of the midwives on the team that would deliver me. Each time being told by the midwife that they were just filling in/helping out. I had a routine Glucose test at wk29 and phoned the following wk for the results, I was told by the rude receptionist (they were all rude) that I would have been phoned if there was anything abnormal, so I went away in ignorance. At wk34 I called C&W to tell them I was switching to a private birth at St Thomas' and I received a call an hour later from a C&W midwife who wanted to urgently discuss my 'worryingly high' glucose levels. Only my calling to cancel had triggered someone to look at my notes! I had been in blissful ignorance, continuing to pander to my sugar cravings, meanwhile my baby was growing abnormallly large, as is the norm with gestational diabetes (although i wasn't classed as diabetic) At St Thomas's they immediately tested me, results back with hours. I went on to have a 10lb 8oz baby, naturally, though induced. No need for instruments. Just because I trusted my midwives, I loved them, I knew them and I knew they knew me. They wouldn't ask me to do anything they didn't know I was capable of. I knew they wouldn't leave me. I knew that if I needed an epidural that I wouldn't have to join a queue for the anaesthetist. I knew that my husband could stay the night and look after me and our newborn baby. I have heard so many horror stories of NHS midwives stating that they are 'not maids' or 'waitresses' when asked for things. I slept like a log that first night. The overnight midwife wheeled my son out and cuddled him so that we could sleep. The last really great night's sleep I had in a long time. I went back there for my 2nd. Started off NHS again, had several terrible experiences and said enough is enough. Best decisions we've ever made. Had 2 amazing, wonderful, positive birth experiences (considering they would both be considered difficult and complicated births) and I believe they really set the tone for the future.
The Lansdell Suite is just a pair of swing doors away from the maternity ward, yards from one of the best NICUs in the country (if not the best) Everything you could ever need is there, but with staff who have the luxury of time to spend with you.
(I experienced the Portland last summer. Amazing room, shame the ever-changing staff with poor english, tried to give my son the wrong medicine. Tried to send us home with the wrong medicine, and did I mention ALL the signage in the playroom was in Arabic. Had to get it translated) And if anything goes really wrong you have to wait for an ambulance to St Mary's.
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