"Overall a great experience"
About: Royal Free Hospital Royal Free Hospital London NW3 2QG
Posted by Marta D.
After I gave birth to my baby girl at the RFH in February 2015 I promised myself I'd post a review. It's taken a year to do it but here it is. :)
At first my husband and I were very reluctant to go with Royal Free because of the overwhelmingly negative (and admittedly quite dated) reviews we read on all kinds of online forums and literally every couple we met at the NCT decided for UCH, However, we live very close to the hospital so decided to give it a go and it was a great decision.
The antenatal care and postnatal care were spectacular. All the staff very friendly and reassuring, from midwives to consultants to the cleaning staff. Unfortunately, my baby was showing signs of infection after birth so we had to stay in the hospital for a week. The postnatal ward itself could do with better and more modern facilities, and sharing a room with 3 other mothers, fathers and babies is not the best experience in the world but eventually we were moved to a private room, which was wonderful, and the care we received throughout was spectacular. THANK YOU.
The only thing I'd say is that there seems to be this push for natural birth, which is probably the case in every other NHS hospital as well. When a private scan indicated the baby could be quite large, I requested an additional scan, i.e. "growth scan", at 36 weeks which RFH doesn't offer normally. I was told then that the baby was regular size and the consultant I spoke to told me that a C-section was basically out of the question.
Unfortunately, the baby wasn't keen on getting out and I had to be induced. When I was admitted to the hospital for induction at 42 weeks, one of the midwives passing by asked me if I was expecting twins ;-) However, when we talked to the midwives and consultants on the ward about the possibility of the baby being too large, they persuaded me to have a regular birth anyway. My baby weighed 4.2kg and I ended up with both episiotomy and severe tears that required surgery, and my baby was so tired by the lengthy delivery that she had to spend the first night on the neonatal ward due to respiratory problems and infections and then 6 more nights on the postnatal ward. Everything healed well but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to have another regular birth ever.. I know there are statistics and some numbers every hospital is trying to hit, and that C-sections are more expensive, but sometimes the patient might get completely forgotten in all that bureaucracy