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Forest Hill GPs: The Vale vs Jenner Clinic - any recommendations?
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sammysamsam


Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011
Post: #1
08-01-2012 11:48 AM

Happy New Year to you all Thumbsup

I've recently moved to the area from north sides of the river and although I don't usually bother with GPs etc, this year will hopefully bring the patter of tiny feet so choosing a local doc seems important.

Seems my choice is between The Vale (which gets poor commentary on NHS web) and Jenner Clinic (which gets good NHS web commentary but some poor reviews on the web) Confused

So I thought I'd poll local knowledge! Anyone got feedback about either and also a tip re which particular GP to request?

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #2
08-01-2012 11:59 AM

Check with both clinics as to which one will take you - the catchment zones are very tight, so you may find you don't actually have a choice.

For what it's worth, my family have all been registered at the Vale Medical Centre for more than ten years and are very happy with it. There was a big turnover of doctors a few years ago, but it seems to have settled down now and I'm happy to be seen by any of the doctors there.

I've always been able to get a same day appointment by calling first thing in the morning. It might take 5-10 minutes to get through, but if I really need to see a doctor the same day, this doesn't seem like much of a burden.

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 458
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #3
08-01-2012 06:14 PM

We only had the choice of one GP where we live in SE23 It had poor reviews so I have decided to stick with my old GP in west London which is'nt ideal but with past history of health issues I feel safer with a caring excellent GP 17miles away than with a bad local one.
I wish the Jenner would take us..we've tried but to no avail.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,350
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
08-01-2012 06:53 PM

There is also The Woolstone Medical Centre in Woolstone Road.

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Bo Peep


Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #5
08-01-2012 07:28 PM

I registered 2 years ago with The Vale, i phoned around but its the only one that would accept me due to postcode. However, i am very happy with the treatment i have had there

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Princess2011


Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #6
08-01-2012 10:35 PM

Hi, I have been with Woolstone Medical Centre for nearly 4 years and have been happy with them. I think they must have quite a large catchment area as I've recently moved to Sydenham and can still go there. I had a baby last year and saw the midwife based there who was lovely and since then have had to make 3 emergency/on the day appointments with a doctor and have always got one for the same day for my son. I've seen 3 of the nurses too who are all nice! Hope that helps.

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rmurraywest


Posts: 42
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #7
09-01-2012 11:10 AM

Hi

We moved literally two streets out of the catchment of the Vale to the Jenner. I've had a baby with each practice - one at King's and one at home through the Lewisham midwives.

They are both very good. When you've got older children I'd say the waiting room at the Jenner is a bit better and they've been fab with emergency stuff, but the Vale was always good too. Both times midwives fab - the lady I saw through the Jenner also delivered my daughter. She was fantastic.

Hope that helps.

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Gep


Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2007
Post: #8
10-01-2012 10:09 AM

I've been with the vale for 5 years and I have no complaints. Some doctors are better then others, so it's difficult to give a review of the whole surgery.

I don't like the fact they won't give you an appointment in advance for the following few days forcing you to call on the same day. I, like many other people, need to notify work in advance if I'm going to be late.

The admin staff is very good.

@nottinghillbilly: how did you manage to stay with your GP in west London? I was very.happy with mine in Brixton, but as soon as I told them I was moving to Forest Hill they forced me to change.

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nottinghillbilly


Posts: 458
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #9
10-01-2012 10:44 PM

I have'nt told him I've moved-I know I will have to get a local surgery eventually though.Unsure

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HOPresident


Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #10
11-01-2012 08:18 PM

When I moved to the area (pregnant) I took a local friend's advice and joined Jenner / decided to give birth at King's. Having lived in HOP for almost two years now and had my baby, I would say that that might work for some people but wasn't the right decision for me. A couple of NCT friends were at The Vale and it seems to be better in that you get a midwife assigned to you, they visit you at home and give you the option of home birth - i.e. a highly personalised and caring service. I wasn't offered midwife appointments at Jenner since theirs seem to be attached to Lewisham, not King's, so had to schlep to King's each time (this was 18 months ago so maybe things have changed.... worth checking it out). Also when push came to shove (pardon the pun) King's let me down.... Firstly they turned me away since allegedly I wasn't far enough gone, yet just a couple of hours later I was pushing at home. King's then refused to send a midwife since apparently i wasn't in the catchment (why allow me to register there in the first place then?!) but Lewisham sent a midwife round. So based on my own personal experience, and if i could choose again, I would definitely go for The Vale & delivery at Lewisham. I had to spend a couple of days there and my own experience was good. I never saw their birthing centre but if I had my time again I would seriously consider that. But saying all this I think I was unlucky with my King's experience - my other mum friends have had mixed experiences but certainly the hospital has a good reputation. Likewise besides the issue of midwife Jenner has been ok - but to be honest I would still choose The Vale if I could again - I haven't been blown away by the GPs (and I've seen a few). Don't worry about the clinics post birth - certainly you can choose any of the weigh ins at other GP practices in the area (all different days/times to suit) so that's not critical. Anyway good luck and sure whatever you decide will work for you!

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
11-01-2012 08:58 PM

I'm with the Jenner and can recommend the GPs and Practice Nurses, whom I see regularly.

However, to echo HOPresident, I was deeply underimpressed by their midwives - don't think I saw the same one twice for offspring no. 2. One of them wanted to discuss the details of the process of termination when I said I wanted an amnio test. Whoa there - let's get the results first, eh? On the other hand, their post-natal / health visitors were lovely and I would highly recommend. Lewisham Hospital is a dump and I recommend anyone not actually ill (i.e just having a baby) to avoid or get out as soon as possible. Not at all impressed. Having said all that, I should add a caveat - offspring no. 2 just turned nine, so maybe things have totally changed.

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Princess2011


Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2011
Post: #12
11-01-2012 08:59 PM

Sorry to read about your experience HOPresident. I gave birth at Lewisham just over a year ago (not in the Birth Centre tho) and would go there again. I was there for 10 days so saw a fair bit and also experienced NICU there where the staff were wonderful. To be honest I don't think there is much in it re Kings v Lewisham, there will always be good and bad stories for both.

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BarCar


Posts: 292
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
12-01-2012 12:30 PM

The Lewisham NHS PAL Service (http://www.lewishampct.nhs.uk/a/81) helped us get registered with Jenner after first being refused. We've been pretty happy there.

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ringingcod


Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #14
12-01-2012 01:00 PM

To counterbalane HOPresident, ringingcodling was born in Kings (we live in HOP, registered at the Jenner) and the transfer of care from the hospital to Lewisham midwives when we returned home was seamless.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
12-01-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:
To counterbalane HOPresident, ringingcodling was born in Kings (we live in HOP, registered at the Jenner) and the transfer of care from the hospital to Lewisham midwives when we returned home was seamless.


Agreed. We live in Honor Oak[/quote] and registered at Forest Hill Road group practice. Our small (though wasn't born there, she arrived in a bit of a hurry) was looked after at Kings in the SCBU. I have nothing but praise for their work there and again midwifery was not an issue. YMMV of course.

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HOPresident


Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #16
12-01-2012 01:16 PM

thanks ringingcod, should have said the Lewisham midwives/health visitors (post birth) were good attached to Jenner. However, could you clarify, even though you gave birth at Kings were you allowed to see the midwives at Jenner pre birth - and you didn't have to go to the Kings midwife centre? How long ago was this? Maybe I was an anomalie...

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stefan


Posts: 93
Joined: May 2008
Post: #17
12-01-2012 01:16 PM

I used to be signed up with Jenner and now with Vale. I can honestly say that I prefer Vale and given the choice would not go back to Jenner

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ringingcod


Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #18
12-01-2012 01:29 PM

Quote:
even though you gave birth at Kings were you allowed to see the midwives at Jenner pre birth


No, the wife (for it was she who did all the work) travelled to Kings for midwife business. But we expected to as that's where we were planning to give birth. We did ante-natal in the deserted Dulwich Hospital, which was a bit spooky.

This was nearly 2 years ago and we'll be repeating the process shortly, so it will be interesting to see if anything has changed.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
12-01-2012 11:15 PM

As I understand it, women registered at the Jenner can give birth at either Kings or Lewisham, and in fact any hospital they choose, but if you live in Southwark or on the border in the Kings catchment area you can have the Kings midwife come to see you at home. A friend in Dunoon Road did that as she was registered at Forest Hill Road practice. If you are outside that catchment area you are referred back to Lewisham for midwifery services and they dont come out to you. The arrangements however can be a bit odd as are the visiting midwife and health visitor arrangements following reorganisation- our HV was based at Sydenham Green yet our nearest centre was at the Jenner.

Unfortunately I second the negative view about Lewisham both from personal experience the first time around and from what I witnessed. I'll spare you the details however it is not our hospital of choice on any front. Kings on the other hand was great ante natally but as seems to be the case everywhere, overstretched post natally and we witnessed a revolt on the ward I was in as patients partners were increasingly vocal about the lack of attention their pregnant partners were getting and security had to be called in.

Kings still gets my vote however- Lewisham most definitely gets the thumbs down.

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oryx


Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
13-01-2012 12:20 AM

I'm not with either Jenner or The Vale (actually with Hilly Fields) but does anyone know if any surgeries round here do not do that same day appointment thing?

As gep pointed out in post #8, it is fine if you need urgent attention (as long as you're prepared to stay on the phone when they open for about half an hour, just to get through) but a nightmare if you work.

Or is it standard practice at all GP surgeries, to meet NHS targets?

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