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Lewisham hospital v Kings College hospital
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crazycomet


Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
11-03-2008 12:34 PM

Hi

We are pregnant with our first baby Thumbsup and my doctor has given me the option of Lewisham hospital or Kings College Hospital, does anyone have any advice, recommendations or preferences? Smile

cheers

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #2
11-03-2008 12:56 PM

Kings without a doubt but make sure your midwife is there when you wife goes into labour to smooth the way at Kings. Both our young pub goers were born there.

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Deanos


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #3
11-03-2008 02:05 PM

Lewisham without a doubt. Our baby was born there in December, the midwide care all the way through the pregnancy was outstanding and the labour and aftercare were second-to-none. When we were looking into which to opt for, both seemed very similar in terms of facilities, reputation etc. so our choice went down to which one we could get to the quickest. It's not a choice that I regretted at any point. They were blimmin' ace!

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
11-03-2008 02:28 PM

Both of ours were due to be delivered at Lewisham, only the second had other ideas. I think the two hospitals are much the same to be honest.

As for our experiences of Lewisham;

  • the hospital antenatal classes were poor (and old fashioned lecture in a hot, overcrowded waiting room);
  • the ante-natal care was good;
  • the delivery was really good (we had a a great midwife called Blessing plus our sis-in-law who is a midwife at Kings just for good measure);
  • the immediate post-natal wasn't good (wife left on drip, stranded in a chair with new baby at 4am and no-one went to check on her until 8am - staff asleep on the main desk in the ward)
  • post-hospital post-natal care, including community midwives, was ok too although we did make use of some of Kings' services as Lewisham didn't make us aware of the equiv. services in Lewisham.

That all sounds a bit negative but overall we had no qualms about going back there for our second baby - we just would have been more prepared to deal with the less than perfect stuff second time round.

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Jbird


Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2006
Post: #5
11-03-2008 02:28 PM

I'd suggest visiting the maternity centres. Each one has a special visiting time when prospective parents can look around the facilities and speak to the midwives. Just call the maternity / antenatal department in each hospital and find out when to turn up. My wife and I did this very early on in our pregnancy, so we could make an informed choice, and it was well worth doing.

I believe standards of care at the maternity units are very similar (recent Healthcare Commission reports were almost identical). But there are pros and cons with each choice - Kings is more modern and is a teaching hospital, so staff are supposed to be top notch, but if you choose Lewisham you'll probably have midwives based at your GP surgery, which is very good news.

We ended up choosing Kings because we have twins on the way (there's a multiples specialty there). We are very happy with facilities but the midwife care has been woeful so far. Thankfully we got in to the Albany Community Midwives scheme so I guess we have the best of both worlds!

Anyway, good luck and congratulations.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #6
11-03-2008 02:29 PM

I think not as simple as which hospital is best. I have had many experiences recently with relatives at both and generally service OK. For some things , for instance eyes and diabetes then Kings is streets ahead , but for maternity would imagine they both should be OK.

Parking is a nightmare at both especially Kings

Good Luck.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #7
11-03-2008 02:32 PM

Park behind Kings at the park, it's free although a bit of a scrum.

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ruthb


Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
11-03-2008 02:35 PM

la la la
having our little one there in July...I guess it is much of a muchness - I too have heard of good & bad experiences at both.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #9
11-03-2008 03:00 PM

I personally felt that the midwife practice we used, as opposed to the hospital, was the most important thing. We used Oakwood, great great people.

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Simon


Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2005
Post: #10
11-03-2008 03:44 PM

Don't know if you can draw too many conclusions from this but A&E at Lewisham was filthy when I had the misfortune to be there. King's is was much cleaner.

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Elizabeth25


Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
11-03-2008 04:08 PM

I wouldn't step foot in Lewisham Hospital again for all the tea in China. I gave birth to my son there three years ago. It was the worst experience of my life. Ignored, bleeding--24 hours of labour ending up with an emergency C-Section. There were some hardworking midwifes and nurses inside Lewisham, but they were a VERY small minority. Horrid, nasty place.

The hospital are damn lucky that I am the only one who suffered during my birth. Fortunatly, my son was born healthy--I shudder to think what might have happened if he had been in any trouble during and after the birth.

Also--no help what so every breast feeding. No one willing to get me food--even thought I was recovering from a C-Section and paralysed from the waist down, and I ended up with a viscious infection.

Go anywhere--absolutly ANYWHERE, besides Lewisham hospital.

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crazycomet


Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
11-03-2008 04:12 PM

Thanks everyone for all you replies, so much to consider!

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Deanos


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #13
11-03-2008 04:20 PM

JBird give some good advice here, do a visit and check them out for yourself, they'll be happy to give you as much advice as you need. As I mentioned, the clincher for us was that we could get to Lewisham much quicker than we could to Kings.

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #14
11-03-2008 04:26 PM

Why not save yourself the bother and stay at home? Register with a group practice and have the midwife come to you.

Probably cleaner and I would hope the food is better...

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Deanos


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #15
11-03-2008 04:27 PM

And RuthB, re: fingers in ears on bad experiences of Lewisham, while Elizabeth25's experience sounds horrific, 3 years is a long time in the life of a hospital, and her experience sounds completely at odds (thank goodness) to the one that we had a less than 3 months ago. It certainly seems that they've pulled their socks up since then. My wife also had a C-Section and found the staff very helpful, attentive and forthcoming with good advice, particulalry about breastfeeding. In short, I don't think you need to be too concerned about choosing Lewisham.

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crazycomet


Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
11-03-2008 04:32 PM

I have definately decided, as its our first child, that I want a hospital birth, unless of course I change my mind between now and labour. I was at the home birth of my youngest sister when I was 10 (didnt seem to put me off having children) and although my mum had fantastic birth with no complications and her friend was the midwife, it was her 4 child, so she new her body and what to expect. Maybe for the next one.

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #17
11-03-2008 04:38 PM

I had my baby at Lewisham two years ago and found that the labour ward itself was fine, staff very professional, and I got on well with my midwife. When I needed it, the doctors were there very quickly. I was in the 'home from home' room for most of my labour which I would recommend. A hospital tour first is definitely worth it. As with any hospital, the experience you have will also depend on who is on duty when you are there and whether you get on with the midwife allocated to you - and that is just down to luck really.

But from my personal experience, (and from what I have heard from others I have spoken to recently), don't expect too much from the postnatal ward. Take some snacks with you or get a visitor to bring some in, as the hospital food isn't great (and you'll probably be starving!); if you need something or have any worries, be prepared to ask; and the midwives and nurses aren't particularly friendly - they are busy and have many other mums and babies to deal with, and they can perhaps forget that whilst they are used to dealing with babies all day, for you its a very new and unsettling experience! Help with breastfeeding can be sporadic and different nurses can give different advice about the best way to feed. So do read up as much as you can beforehand, and hopefully you won't be in the hospital too long anyway.

I don't mean this to be a negative reason not to have your baby at Lewisham, as I certainly don't regret it, just something to be forewarned about.

By the way, I don't know if people on here are aware that the Maternity Unit (and some other units) at Lewisham may possibly be closed under recent proposals to change health provision in south east London.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
11-03-2008 07:40 PM

Having had a baby by c section last year at Lewisham I would strongly suggest you go to Kings, as I greatly wish I made the change when I had the chance.

I am one of the many women who have in the last year made formal complaints about the service and treatment on the post natal ward.
(bad pain management, baby being taken away without permission, witnessing staff shouting at other mothers and fathers, seeing babies being handled roughly, nurses fabricating medical notes- the usual.)
I understand that action has been taken to improve things but given the opportunity I would not set foot in there again nor would I recommend anyone else do so. I believe the problems are deep rooted in management and these things just don't change that quickly. There are no second chances when it comes to a birth and your first hours with your child. It has been suggested that they were just having a bad night, however I have heard so much more now from others to know that my experience was not unique.

Everyone I know who has been at Kings only speaks highly of it. In addition, they are signed up to the Baby Friendly Initiative, which promotes breastfeeding. They don't provide formula and work hard to get breastfeeding established in new mothers. Lewisham is not party to this initiative and has actually often undermined this process in practice. This is a very important factor to consider if you are choosing to breastfeed your baby and one I would suggest you consider very carefully. Hospitals are definitely not on a par in this respect, and Lewisham only a few miles away from Kings falls down very badly.

Have a tour of both maternity units and see the difference.

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Toffeejim


Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2004
Post: #19
12-03-2008 12:46 AM

A consultant paediatrician of my acquaintance, trained on the London round, recently had to make the same choice. In the event she plumped for Lewisham and had no complaints. But Kings is a leading teaching hospital with a very diverse focus and she didn't seek to fault that. I think what swayed her was that Lewisham was a slightly more "meat and drink" operation where she was confident that the focus of the medical staff would be on her needs. And it is a well respected teaching hospital in itself.

As for the suggestion of having a first baby at home:should you be unfortunate enough to run into complications (I very much hope not but it is a statistically higher risk with your first) they may well arise quickly and need to be sorted out quickly. I'm friends with a lot of medics but I don't know any that have chosen to have their children at home. I don't mean to say this as some sort of jeremiah. I'm sure whatever you choose and wherever you choose to go you'll enjoy a wonderful experience.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
12-03-2008 10:25 AM

Just also to add that having a baby at Kings can almost be as good as having a baby at home- they like to get people home as fast as possible post birth, assuming there are no complications, and rely a lot on the visiting midwife service. My friend delivered hers at noon having been admitted at 8am- she was home in time for the Six O Clock news!

Our own decision to stay at Lewisham was based on the paed dept in case our baby had problems. It has the best paed dept in London apparently.

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