"St Georges being full was a blessing in disguise"
About: St Helier Hospital St Helier Hospital Carshalton SM5 1AA
What I liked
I had my first child in July 2011, and as I live in Wandsworth St George's was my hospital of choice to give birth, however, the weekend he was born was baby boom weekend and all London hospitals were full! We, therefore, had to go to St Helier (I had a huge sense of humour failure whilst contracting!).... looking back this was definitely a blessing in disguise!! Upon arrival I was looked after, even though the wards were clearly packed - eventually a room in the delivery suites became available (much bigger and more relaxed than St George's) and other than the anaesthetist not arriving in time for my epidural, the staff were fantastic! I gave birth about 4 hours of arriving with only gas and air!!! Felt like I was being ripped apart and pretty traumatic (blood loss when placenta was taken out), but the emergency team were in the room within seconds (thankfully didn't need transfusion). Unlike St Georges, there are private rooms you can pay for, so we paid for the en suite room (£125 per night) and it was perfect..... I am pregnant again and have asked to go back to St Helier and hopefully have a great experience once again.
What could be improved
Only one thing to note - as my birth was pretty textbook I didn't need the midwives much, so I can't comment on how helpful they would be after the birth! My husband spent the two days with me pretty much before leaving. One small thing, we had to wait a while to be discharged though as we were waiting results on whether our son was anaemic (he wasn't) - there were a couple there who had been waiting 24 hours to be discharged - so I guess that's one area that could have been improved - very frustrating when you just want to get home, but you have to wait for a consultant to sign you off!