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Who/what determines what hospital you deliver at?

My partner and I are looking into become pregnant. The hospital nearest to us has had some really bad press and we've heard some horror stories from others that have went there. This post isn't about them, so I won't say which hospital. What I am wondering is what/who determines which hospital you go to for antenatal care? My partner and I are considering moving if it is based on catchment only.


9 Replies

U can go where you want as far as I am aware. I had this choice as am equal distance between 2 but 1 of them is always on local news for bad hygiene so I chose the other and was a gd choice x


I agree with above. Its your choice where you go xx


You can go wherever you like. I moved house between babies and went back to the birthing centre where I had my first to have my second, although there was another centre closer to me. The midwives were unable to come out to my house for our postnatal care as they would normally do, but it wasn't a problem for us to take baby to them x


You are asked at ur booking appointment between 8-10 wks where u would like to give birth. I live in Stafford and my local hospital has been at the epicentre of all the bad press but to be perfectly honest, having had some treatments there in the maternity wards, I would not like to go any where else to give birth. Despite the bad publicity for the treatment of the elderly on some wards, Stafford Maternity was outstanding and they made both me and my partner feel so welcome.

In contrast, we had a late night emergency and needed A&E but Stafford had closed so we went to nearby North Staffs in Newcastle and they were horrible. Treated us like scum. The maternity EPAU made my partner feel ostracized and like it was his fault I was suffering. Horrible people.

If they close stafford as planned, I'll be forced to give birth at north staffs, really do not want to. My advice would be to let go of hear say and try it for yourself. After your scans, if you dont like the treatment u receive, change ur preference with ur midwife. Sometimes, u gotta make ur own mind up xx


I had initially planned to give birth at my local hospital where I had my two daughters but decided to have a look around a birthing centre as well. I was so impressed with the peaceful and calm environment at the birthing centre that I decided to go there instead, despite the distance being significantly greater. My decision was fairly last minute so I was under the care of the community midwives in my local area both antenatally and postnatally but had the birthing centre midwives deliver my son. This worked out very well for me especially as I had the birthing centre all to myself for my labour and birth and a room all to myself afterwards :-)


I think it depends entirely on the practice in your area, I am based in Manchester and one of our local hospitals is always in the press for how awful it is. This hospital happens to be the hospital that I was told I would have to go to as you have no choice on hospital in my area.

Lucky for me that particular hospital doesn't have a urology department within its maternity department so I can't got there anyway due to a kidney condition I have.

I would suggest asking your GP what the criteria for hospital allocation is in your area as it seems it varies x


I had exactly the same problem when I moved house, and jumped through all the administrative hoops. There are national guidelines set by NICE which mean you are entitled to give birth in any hospital you choose. You are only limited by the practicalities of how far you want to/are able to travel during labour, as well as by the status of your pregnancy. If you have any complications you may be much more tied to the necessity of getting to a hospital quickly. I'm assuming this is your first baby and there are no issues, which generally means you will have plenty of time to play with when you go into labour.

I was registered in London until I moved to Milton Keynes at 33 weeks, but I was so freaked out by their reputation that I got myself booked into the Rosie in Cambridge instead. It was over an hour's drive, which I have to say was a little hard when I was in labour, but I don't regret it.

I had a lot more admin than you would as I was effectively transferring twice (London-MK-Cambridge) but it would b ea pretty similar process:

- Register at local GP surgery as normal

- Obviously told them I was 32 weeks pregnant, so they registered me with the community midwife

- At 1st appointment with community midwife (at surgery), told her I wanted to book into a different hospital

- I had to make an appointment with GP for her to assesss the pregnancy and write a letter to the Rosie confirming that I could be transferred. This was a formality, she simply checked if my ankles were swollen, asked me if I felt well, and said she would complete the referral.

- I never saw the letter, but it was obviously done, as I got an appointment letter from the Rosie within a few days, to be formally "booked in" there. This took place when I was 35 weeks pregnant and was a repetition of the standard 8-week process.

- From that point on, care was shared between community midwife for all the standard pregnancy checks, and the Rosie for the birth. It did lead to some confusion, eg. blood tests were done twice, MRSA swabs were done twice etc., but it worked fine

- Post birth, I was discharged back to the community midwife, who visited me as soon as I got back home.


Sorry just to add since I just saw you're not actually pregnant yet: it is completely possible to have your antenatal care via the local GP/hospital, but to have the baby somewhere different. You will automatically get enrolled with the community midwife when you go to your GP to get the pregnancy confirmed, and they are usually attached to the local hospital and will carry out your standard prenatal checks (blood pressure etc) at the GP's surgery. Also, don't assume that the midwife service will be as bad as the hospital's reputation - I had a fantastic time with the local midwives , and in hindsight I was probably overreacting about the state of the hospital anyway, been there for a few checks postnatally and they were great.


Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for all your advice. Feeling much better about the situation now, and hopefully will now be able to focus on getting pregnant rather than worrying about if we would need to move house first.

It's very much appreciated. This was my first post here, and I very much look forward to posting more on the boards when the pregnancy actually happens. It's so lovely knowing there is such a great support network here. Thank you loads! x


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