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Lewisham hospital v Kings College hospital
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Elizabeth25


Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #21
12-03-2008 11:04 AM

The entire reason I had my baby at Lewisham was that I was made to feel I had no other choice. (Thank you Roz for saying you wish never to set foot in Lewisham again--I would write out the entire story but it is so awfull and not needed here)

When I found out I was pregnant, I went down to my local GP to register with the midwives. I had no firm opinions on either Lewisham or Kings at this time. During the registration process I said to the midwife "Oh, I guess I will have my baby at Lewisham or Kings, I haven't decided yet" At this, the midwife put down her pen, sighed, and said, "But we are the midwifes for Lewisham! Which hospital do you want?! You will have to make an appointment with your GP in order to get a referral to Kings if this is what you want!"

At this point I was one month pregnant and had not visited either hospital yet. I should have taken it as a sign, but stupidly I said, "Umm, OK, Lewisham then." (First baby--I was naive)

Choice on where to give birth--I wish I could write b*****ks!

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crazycomet


Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #22
12-03-2008 11:16 AM

The only reason I think I was given the choice was because fate had it that I had a appointment with the doctor already booked for something else and between booking the appointment and the appointment day I found out I was pregnant. This meant I informed my doctor about the pregnancy instead of the midwives. I just presumed that there was no choice and that I would be going to Lewisham as the midwives are from lewisham & I didnt even know Kings was even in the running. However my doctor just asked me where I wanted to go and gave me the suggestions. I think I was just lucky. If I choose Kings I will still have all my appointments with the Lewisham midwives at the surgery apparently.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #23
12-03-2008 11:43 AM

You'll only be given a choice of hospitals if circumstances allow it. Our GP explained that it is all about whether Kings has any spare capacity for Lewisham residents at the key dates in your pregnancy.

As I said before, Lewisham wasn't perfect but we still chose to go back. I've heard stories similar to Roz's and Elizabeth25's re: Kings and I'm sure the people involved in those would be as vociferous in their warnings against Kings.

In the event baby2 decided to spring a surprise and was born in Yeovil. It was like another world and you realise quite how much pressure London hospitals are under. At times in Yeovil we seemingly had the entire antenatal, delivery and postnatal wards (plus all their staff) to ourselves. The staff were friendly and attentive and we felt completely safe. But then they weren't flooded by 20 gazillion-parents to-be.

Once back in London we had to spend quite a lot of time in Lewisham's Neonatal ward and the care on the ward was brilliant. As someone else said earlier all maternity and child specific care at Lewisham is earmarked for closure despite it being ranked as one of the best hospitals in those areas in the country.

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milliebear


Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #24
12-03-2008 02:37 PM

I have had no experience of Kings but can say that my experience in giving birth at Lewisham last year was totally horrific. The delivery ward staff were excellent but extreemly under resourced. After care was non-existent and I found the staff on the maternity ward were totally unhelpful and disinterested. I was back at the hospital about three weeks ago and asked one of the registrars how things were now. She mentioned there had been even more cuts so safe to say things may not have improved.

I would recommend viewing both hospitals and forming your own opinion. Also its important to understand that everyone's experience of giving birth is very different and if you do chose Lewisham your experience could be very much better than mine. Anyway good luck and whatever happens its worth it in the end.

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michael


Posts: 3,210
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #25
12-03-2008 03:11 PM

If I may put it in the words of Harry Hill (a qualified doctor):

Which is better Lewisham or Kings?
There's only one way to find out....
FIGHT!

See you after the break Wink

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #26
12-03-2008 11:43 PM

Toffeejim Wrote:
I'm friends with a lot of medics but I don't know any that have chosen to have their children at home.


thats because they are in the profession - its a second home to them.

We had our baby at home in delightful Perry Vale, and it was a great experience - please do consider it, crazycomet. I know it is a bit of a right-on cliche, but having a baby is a natural experience, it's not a medical issue. You get undivided attention from fantastic community midwives who stay with you and just you throughout your labour - they arent helping several women at the same time, etc. You are in familiar surroundings with everything you need. you dont have to worry about getting to hospital (have you tried parking near a hospital?), and statistically home births are safer.
In the unlikely event that there are complications, the local hospitals are very nearby.

My partner is fast asleep in bed now, with our next baby due in April, but I am sure she would be happy to talk to you about her experience of it all. feel free to send a PM.

Anyway, lecture over. Good luck with the baby! Smile check out the other thread in the SE23 bit about a parents to be meet up (drink-up?) on 22 March.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #27
15-03-2008 01:16 AM

Any potential mums that have selected to use Lewisham better hurry up and get on with it:

http://forum.sydenham.org.uk/viewtopic.p...a0fef9da12

Just a strong rumour atm, but there are 'proposals afoot to close Lewisham A&E, the children's hospital and the maternity unit at Lewisham', it seems.

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SophieBee


Posts: 46
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #28
15-03-2008 12:22 PM

Perryman Wrote:
Just a strong rumour atm, but there are 'proposals afoot to close Lewisham A&E, the children's hospital and the maternity unit at Lewisham', it seems.


I don't know that this is a rumour. We received notice about the consultation a little while back and a questionnare from the NHS trust with some options for the future of NHS services in the area. From the looks of it, the prefered option was to remove the maternity facilities in Lewisham, along with some other services. It also includes Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich NHS trusts.

I found more details here for those interested: http://www.apictureofhealth.nhs.uk/

You can also complete the questionnaire online at that website if you have not received the hard copy consultation document.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #29
15-03-2008 01:49 PM

That will make life interesting. According to our midwife Kings was designed to deal with 2000 births a year. There are currently in excess of 5000!! I would suggest that if they close Lewisham all hell will break loose.

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Growlybear


Posts: 13
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #30
17-03-2008 07:05 PM

I would rather give birth in the street than have a baby in Kings - I think the street would probably be far cleaner. I've never known anyone who was happy with their experience of childbirth in Kings. Of the people I've known who have had their babies in Lewisham, most have found it OK. But I thought that women were allowed a fair bit of flexibility in their choice of care during pregnancy, and weren't generally restricted to one or two choices. When I was pregnant, I did some research on all of the local maternity units, and told my GP that I wanted to be cared for by the Mayday Hospital in Croydon. She agreed to this without too much persuasion, and my experience there was fantastic (or as fantastic as giving birth can be!).

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Toffeejim


Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2004
Post: #31
17-03-2008 09:50 PM

thenutfield Wrote:
statistically home births are safer.


This is a rather misleading thing to say. In Holland they have been promoting a policy of home births very strongly for several years now. But they are seeing rates of mortality rise because of it and are currently having a bit of a policy rethink.

I'm sure there is a lower rate of complications/mortality at home births than in hospitals because whenever a significant risk of complications is identified the mother concerned is advised to give birth in hospital. So the statistics are based upon the hospitals dealing with higher risk births and home deliveries are dealing with lower risk births. Although I'm sure the risk for most mothers is very low the safest place to have your child remains in a hospital.

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #32
18-03-2008 12:07 AM

Toffeejim Wrote:
I'm sure there is a lower rate of complications/mortality at home births than in hospitals because whenever a significant risk of complications is identified the mother concerned is advised to give birth in hospital.


Quite right too, I am not suggesting that hospital should be ruled out if there are complications. But where no risk of complications has been identified, what is the reason? its a bit like saying if you want to put up some shelves, you should only put them up in a hospital, in case you have an accident whilst you are doing it! (not a very good comparison, but just trying to illustrate a point).

By the way, when did you last hear of someone catching MRSA at home?

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essjaygee


Posts: 49
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #33
19-03-2008 10:39 AM

crazycomet Wrote:
The only reason I think I was given the choice was because fate had it that I had a appointment with the doctor already booked for something else and between booking the appointment and the appointment day I found out I was pregnant. This meant I informed my doctor about the pregnancy instead of the midwives. I just presumed that there was no choice and that I would be going to Lewisham as the midwives are from lewisham & I didnt even know Kings was even in the running. However my doctor just asked me where I wanted to go and gave me the suggestions. I think I was just lucky. If I choose Kings I will still have all my appointments with the Lewisham midwives at the surgery apparently.


Patient choice really does work!! You can request to go to King's or Lewisham (and probably others too) - it's your right.

I was adamant I wanted to go to King's this time as I had a great antenatal experience, great labour experience, but TOTALLY RUBBISH postnatal experience at Lewisham (ignored, told off for not feeding, not getting bf support when I specifically asked, yet being told I couldn't go hom until my son had fed, ignored the second night, finally on the following day I decided I'd rather be at home without a clue rather than in hospital getting no support, so I asked to be discharged at 10am on the Sunday to be told "but it says here you were discharged last night.....", being shouted at by a cleaner for daring to be in the loo when she wanted to clean it.....needless to say bf failed and this was a major contributing factor to my (now resolved) PND). I do understand that 3 years is a long time and apparently things have changed - my colleague's son was born at Lewisham and now, for example they show a video showing breastfeeding techniques every day, which I would have loved, but even then, she has a medical condition for which her son should have had regular bloods done and they had to prompt and prompt and prompt to get seen for these on the ward....

I should have complained, but by the time I realised I really shouldn't have been treated like that so much time had passed... what did I know, I was a new mother!

So I'm off to King's this time - I work there too so it's a lot handier. Incidentally when I asked my GP to refer me to King's because I hated my Lewisham experience, she told me she wasn't surprised to hear that as she'd heard similar from a lot of people!

Re the midwives care - I am being seen antenatal at King's but when I have No2 and leave the hospital I'll be discharged back to Lewisham community midwives and I can imagine it will be similar for you. I didn't really miss the continuity of care last time.

Ah well, all will become clear in about 8 weeks or so! BlinkBlush

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crazycomet


Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #34
19-03-2008 10:50 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments, they have helped get my head around it all.

I have been excepted by Kings, so Kings it is! My doctor & I decided to put the forms into Kings and if they excepted me then great but it they were too busy then I would go to Lewisham. It looks from all the comments that both have good and bad points and that of course everyones experience is different. Being all new to this its all very overwelming!Blink

Now that I have made that decision I can look at one of the other hundred to go. Anyone have any recommendations for buggies?? Confused

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admin
Administrator

Posts: 393
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #35
19-03-2008 11:21 AM

New thread created: Buggies

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dudieezper


Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #36
20-01-2010 05:16 PM

It might be better that any of the two hospitals would you take your wife is you could make sure that your midwife is there when the labour of your wife is starting. It could really be a help for you and to your wife. You could be possible calm just you know that there is a person that could see your wife on the labour room.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #37
20-01-2010 07:54 PM

I have had many vists for treatment in 09 to Lewisham and the service was really great.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #38
20-01-2010 08:16 PM

My experience of the hospitals. I have only had out patients treatment at Kings, but have has 3 surgeries at Lewisham over the past year, the last of which was Monday, and all have been very good.

I have no issues with Lewisham, all departments have always looked after me, my mum, my sister giving birth 3 times, and my daughter being born there.

It gets the thumbs up from me.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #39
20-01-2010 08:51 PM

Having given birth at Lewisham I made a conscious decision not go back there for anything if I could help it as my experience there, subsequent experience of A+E, and experiences with my young child at Lewisham Childrens A+E where something critical was misdiagnosed, were pretty awful. My second birth experience last year was at Kings and I have to say that the entire experience was excellent. If anything Kings were guilty of overfussing however things can go wrong in pregnancy so its good that problems can be picked up early. I could not believe that all the care I received including care for gestational diabetes was so good and delivered on the NHS- I am certain that few other countries and hospitals offer such a good service. Needless to say that Kings probably has its critics and all birth units are severely understaffed and midwives in short supply so nowhere is perfect however at the very least the physical fabric of Kings is so much better, cleaner and more comfortable than Lewisham and the hospital in general has a greater feeling of professionalism and where the better staff want to work, so as a patient I felt much more reassured.

Lewisham on the other hand just suffers from poor design, poor maintenance and decor and although these things are superficial they don't inspire confidence in either staff nor services. Having experienced both maternity and paediatric services recently its Kings for me and my family every time. I also understand that Lewisham has been recently slated in the press for the number of patient deaths and botched operations.

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orangeone


Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #40
20-01-2010 10:20 PM

Just wanted to add my experiences as I feel that Lewisham is getting a bit of a slating compared to Kings. OK, it's not the prettiest looking place but that's not what's important in a hosptial surely?

I had the unfortunate experience of having to go to Kings maternity services last year and was misdiagnosed by the Doctors there who seemed too busy doing their research to worry about patient care. Consequently, I ended up seriously ill and almost died.

Lewisham were total lifesavers for me, literally, and thanks to an operation saved my life if not my fertility and baby. I am now pregnant again (through IVF at GUYS, you couldn't pay me to go anywhere near Kings again) and will be chosing Lewisham (if my home birth doesn't go to plan). The care I have received from the local midwifes and maternity department to date has been fine, considering how over worked and short staffed they are.

Being an NHS professional myself, perhaps I have more patience with the NHS as I understand that I am receiving hundreds if not thousands of pounds for free.......

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