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King's College or Mayday Hospital


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#1 sampilger

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:00 AM

Hello All,

Veteran VNers might remember my original request three years ago for advice on local maternity wards and where was best to have a baby. In the end my wife and I had our son, Louis, at Mayday Hospital in July 2005 and were overall very happy and impressed with the care and service we received.

Now we have our second baby on the way, due in July this year, and unlike the first time we have now been offered a choice of hospitals: King's College or Mayday.

Three years is a long enough for things to change at either hospital, so I would be interested in your experiences and advice about each hospital for maternity and where would be best to have our second.

Many thanks,
Sam

#2 vickyp

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:41 AM

I had my son in the birth centre at Mayday and it was a fantastic experience, I can't praise it highly enough. However we had to stay in because he had a suspected chest infection and the communication between shifts and the special care baby unit and maternity ward were appalling and ended up with us spending almost two days longer in there than we needed to and us being finally discharged at 11.50pm despite the SCBU discharging my son at 430pm. However this was back in the summer at the same time as all the junior Drs changing over so that probably had a lot to do with it.

Having said that I wouldn't hesitate to use Mayday again if I wasn't hoping for a homebirth next time!

#3 HeadGardener

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:57 AM

I think I said before that I had quite a miserable time at King's nearly 6 years ago; dirty ward, unsympathetic staff, general feel of neglect. But I had to stay in for five days, having had a difficult birth, and none of these things would have been so obvious if I'd been in and out in a day as many new mums are. And a lot has changed at King's since then, not least the lovely new building - I suspect a lot of the dirtiness was because people had stopped caring for the fabric of the building, knowing that it was soon going to be replaced.

#4 ajames

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:04 PM

Hi Sam

Our first is due in July and we've already been to Kings a couple of times. We've had an extremely friendly and efficient welcome. No sign of the problems that the previous poster had (6 years ago!) No pressure to have a hospital birth in preference to a home birth... I could go on.

Of course no experience of Mayday at all so it would be wrong to make comparisons.

#5 Rockchick

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:20 PM

I have had no experience of Mayday, although I've heard both good and 'horror stories' about the place. I had my daughter at Kings and I couldn't praise them highly enough. I might add I had the added advantage of the midwives 'all round' (ie pre natal, birth and post natal) support via Paxton Green Surgery. Agnes (midwife at Paxton Green) was absolutely fanastic especially when all went 'pear-shaped' and I was rushed for an emergency c-section. Agnes had officially knocked off duty but she stayed until the operation was complete and all the after care/baby checks complete, and I was comfortable on the ward. It's difficult to know what the experience would have been like without Agnes's dedication..... but all I can say is..... Kings clinical care, in my experience, is second to none and I would chose Kings over Mayday every time.

#6 jamesl

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 02:16 PM

No experience of Mayday but we were at Kings for the birth of our daughter in 2006 so we used the newly refurbished bit. The birthing rooms were clean, spacious and well equipped and we too had the advantage of the linked system with Paxton Green Midwives. Corinne , who delivered our daughter, was fantastic and the clinical care throughout was superb.

That said we were on the doctors clinical care list because of a potential complication so I can't say what the general list is like. The one obvious advantage of Kings is that it is a teaching hospital and as a result you can often get seen by leading practioners. For example my wife saw twice a Polish doctor who turned out to be a world specialist in endometriosis and it's impact on pregnancy. On the other hand because it has specailists it has additional patients with complications over and above it's normal catchment area so it can be very busy. I think teh new unit wa sdesigend to cope with 3500 births per annum but is actually running at nearly 5000.

The two things we thought were poor were immediately pre birth and post birth. There was a long delay between waters breaking and labour and we were advised to go in to have the heart beat monitored. This entailed a 6 hour wait in a very hot corridor full of mothers to be in various degrees of stress and anxiety (some were bleeding and clearly very very anxious, others were given very bad news in far from private surroundings). It was far from pleasant but this part of teh unit was the one bit which had yet to be refurbished so I don't know if it has changed since. Post birth my wife had to stay in for 24 hours. the wards are very busy and you are crammed together and we both felt that they weren't very clean.

Overall a very good experience and I have nothing but praise for all the clinical staff- the administration staff were another matter but surely being grumpy and uncommunicative is almost genetic in most recepetionists (?)

#7 mlg

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:49 PM

I was at Kings for my second baby in September (Guy's for first) and my experience ties in with what James has said. Research doctors abound and the antenatal care is extemely thorough, perhaps to the point of feeling like the doctors are desperate to identify even the smallest of risk factors. This can in itself make you unnecessarily anxious, but on balance, must be a good thing.
The only issue I had was the care I received at the point of arrival, which turned out to be less than an hour before the birth. The reception staff must have assumed I had hours to go and so sent me to a packed tv room, to wait to be seen. It was no place to be in the final stages of labour and I had to crawl into the main corridor to make myself more visible. At that point, a passing midwife, who was already dealing with someone else, scooped me up and got me into a delivery room. The subsequent care was splendid and the post-delivery conditions were also good - clean, comfortable rooms, plenty of attention and a calm atmosphere.
What James says about Kings being over capacity is interesting - I thought the place was packed out because I was there in September, which apparently sees a seasonal peak in 'Christmas babies.'
If it's your second baby, the thing I'd be most concerned about are the relative journey times!

#8 Becky2

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:18 PM

I had my baby at Mayday summer 2007.

The normal labour ward (as opposed to the Birthing Centre) appeared to be very understaffed when i was in labour, although the midwife who (eventually) attended me was great and overall my experience was a positive one.

I cant speak highly enough of the nurses in the Special Care Baby Unit where my daughter had to spend three nights. They were absolutely amazing - extremely knowledgeable, interested, instructive and friendly.

#9 matt

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:11 PM

Sam - we also had our 1st in Mayday in July 05, and have just had 2nd in Nov 07 - this time in the birthing centre, which is great. Care was fantastic - they didn't really have room in the centre, but poached a midwife from the standard delivery rooms, and the woman who seemed to run the place also attended. Mind you - v quick labour (4-5 hrs start to finish, 1 hr in Mayday) so can't say what it would be like if it was longer. They were fantastic both before and after, no pressure to rush off to postnatal ward before my wife felt ready. V happy with the experience, much happier than #1 (which was alright) - but then we knew what was coming this time!

Edited by matt, 24 January 2008 - 02:14 PM.


#10 Sylvester

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 05:46 PM

Congratulations Matt - was it a boy or girl? I hope he/she/parents are doing well!
aka Pie

#11 ajames

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 09:59 AM

This just in from the Healthcare Commission: "The Healthcare Commission assessed trusts' maternity services in three areas - clinical focus, women-centred care, and efficiency and capability - using 25 indicators of performance."

http://news.bbc.co.u...lth/7207683.stm

Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:- Fair performing
Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust:- Least well performing

Other assessments available seem to be "Better performing" or "Best performing"

#12 HeadGardener

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

I think that was what I was trying to say. I mentioned that it is nearly 6 years since I was at King's because a lot of water has obviously flowed under the bridge since then. Despite the excellent attentions of some world class doctors, my overall experience at that time couldn't be rated as anything better than 'fair' and the comments of others here who've been at King's more recently suggest to me that things haven't moved on a great deal over the last 6 years.

#13 jamesl

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:45 PM

For detailed findings see

Kings


http://www.healthcar...dAssessment.pdf

Mayday

http://www.healthcar...dAssessment.pdf

#14 woodstock

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 02:14 PM

we actually had our baby in uch (long and complicated story) but aftercare (i had a caesarean) once sent home was via midwives from mayday and was absolutely rubbish: they repeatedly failed to turn up for postnatal checkups, gave rotten advice when they did - if it hadn't been for the fact that my sister is a midwife i would have been in trouble. oh and it was a mayday midwife who did my final 40 week check and missed the fact that the baby had turned breech. so i personally wouldn't want anything to do with them again.
on the other hand we have friends who also had a baby at the mayday in the birthing centre and said it was brilliant...and one who had a bad experience at kings. so the moral of the story is personal experience can't necessarily tell you very much! mayday might be better if you want a homebirth (they are very hot on this) or a very natural/minimal intervention birth, or if you are a very long way from kings, but otherwise i'd go for kings every time.

#15 sampilger

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:51 AM

Hello All,

Well, in the end we decided to go with King's College over Mayday. Quite simply because weeks after posting this request earlier in the year the largest ever national study of maternity care in this country rated Kings as better than Mayday, and sadly Mayday generally has been getting a bit of a kicking of late, rated 28th out of 29 London NHS Trusts a few months ago, which was rather sobering.

But in the end we didn't make it to King's anyway and had it right here at home on Monday night! Those second babies certainly come quickly. My wife's labour lasted 'just' over four hours and by the time the independent midwife who was accompanying us to King's arrived everything was happening so fast that we had no choice but to stay at home and the baby was born just 43 minutes later. Everything went very well, and all doing fine. A little girl weighing 7lb 15oz, who is lovely and looks just like her proud big brother. Still deciding on a name!

Although we had never been interested or felt brave enough to have a home birth, it really proved to be the best way to do it. It was wonderful never to step foot in a hospital and have her right here at home.

Thanks for all your earlier advice,
Sam