Maternity Services - FAQs - Top Image

How do I self-refer?

Please either complete the online self referral form or visit us in person at the Antenatal Clinic on the 5th floor of the Kenwood Wing.

How can I find medical information and advice about my pregnancy?

The NHS Choices website has comprehensive information relating to pregnancy. It includes information of the food and drink you can eat during pregnancy, symptoms during pregnancy and medications you can take.

Who do I phone if I am pregnant and have a concern?

Our early pregnancy service (women's diagnostic unit) cares for women experiencing problems during the first 17 weeks of their pregnancy. Experiencing problems during pregnancy can be stressful and we aim to reassure women and make sure they are safe.
We care for women with conditions including:
  • Pain and/or bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hyperemesis (severe vomiting)
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage

Walk-in service (women's diagnostic unit)
Our emergency walk-in service (women's diagnostic unit) for women experiencing problems during early pregnancy is available Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Outside of these hours patients who need urgent care will be seen in A&E. Women who experience problems or have concerns can walk-in and be seen by our specialist team without being referred by their GP or healthcare professional. This is an emergency service for pregnant women and operates in a similar way to our emergency department, with women triaged on arrival. Our consultants aim to see you as quickly as possible, however during busy times you can expect to wait between three and four hours to be seen.
Women after 17 weeks of their pregnancy can be seen at the maternity day assessment unit and triage.
Maternity day assessment unit and triage
Our maternity day assessment unit is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. The day assessment unit provides an antenatal outpatient service for women who require close monitoring during their pregnancy, including women with high blood pressure, reduced baby movements and women who are ten days or more overdue. Outside the maternity day assessment opening times, we operate a triage service where you will be assessed and refered to the appropriate place, for example:
  • Home if there are no concerns after the assessment
  • Emergency department for non-pregnancy related issues
  • Admission to the maternity ward for observation
  • Birth centre or the labour ward if in labour

What should I do if I think I am in labour?

Women who choose Whittington Health have one named midwife from our team who coordinates and tailors their maternity care. Your named midwife will be your key point of contact during your pregnancy. After working hours please contact maternity triage on 020 7288 5880.
Our teams provide community maternity services in locations across Haringey, Islington and some surrounding boroughs. Our teams run antenatal and postnatal clinics and classes in a range of venues including health centres, children's centres, GP surgeries and in women's homes. You can choose a convenient location to see your midwife depending on where you live or work.

How do I arrange for a home birth?

Please contact your named midwife from our team who coordinates and tailors their maternity care. Your named midwife will be your key point of contact during your pregnancy.

What antenatal workshops are there and when are they held?

Antenatal classes (also called parentcraft classes) can help you to prepare for your baby's birth and learn to look after and feed your baby. They can help you to stay healthy during pregnancy and give you confidence and information. You can learn about the different arrangements for labour and birth, and the choices available to you. You may also meet some of the people who will look after you during labour.
Our antenatal classes are very popular and we encourage you to book as early as possible. You will be given specific dates for classes when you are booking. You can book through your midwife or by phoning our antenatal team on 020 7288 3482 or 020 7288 3483 and quoting code: PHYBB

How can I receive complementary therapy such as acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of therapy where very fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body and left for 20 to 30 minutes. It is used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medicine.
Acupuncture can be beneficial during pregnancy for:
  • Birth preparation
  • Serious musculoskeletal pain e.g. back pain, sciatic nerve pain and pelvic pain
  • Turning babies from breech to head down presentation
  • Severe vomiting (hyperemesis)

Location: Fetal Medicine Service, Level 5, Kenwood Wing, To book an appointment please call 07824 864455 and leave a message on our voicemail. We will contact you within 24 hours to offer you an appointment.

What pain management is available in the birth centre and labour ward?

In the Birth Centre, pain relief therapies include:
  • Birthing pool
  • Gas and air (Entonox - a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas)
  • Massage
  • Complementary therapies such as hypnobirthing and acupuncture
  • TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Intramuscular injection (into the muscle of your thigh or buttock)

On the Labour Ward, pain relief therapies include all of the above, plus:
  • Epidural

How many birthing pools are there on the labour ward?

There are four birthing pools in the birth centre and two on the labour ward.

Do we have to have a car seat with when taking baby home?

Yes, if you have your baby in hospital or a birth centre, you will need a car seat to drive your newborn home. It's a good idea to practise fitting the seat before your baby is born.
Tips for buying a baby car seat.

Can partners stay overnight - or another family member instead of a partner?

Partners or another nominated adult can stay overnight on the postnatal ward. A recliner seat is provided. They should bring their own food.

What about visitors?

Visiting times on Murray (antenatal) ward and Cellier (postnatal) ward are 3 - 6pm.  Only one visitor is permitted per patient, which includes the partner. Only the brothers or sisters (up to 16 years old) of the baby will be allowed on the ward. Other children will not be permitted to visit. We are encouraging new mothers to ask people to wait until they leave hospital to visit to give them time to bond with their babies and receive the necessary support for caring for themselves and their baby.
 There is no limited time for the birthing partner at the birth centre and labour ward.

Is there car parking available?

There is no parking at the hospital during the day but we do have a limited number of disabled (blue badge) parking spaces, which may be used by blue disabled badge holders only between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm free of charge. Please note that normal charges will apply to blue disabled badge holders after 5:00pm on weekdays and all day at weekends (see below).
Parking is allowed between 5pm and 8am Mondays to Fridays and all day at the weekends. The first 20 minutes is free and after that is charged at 3.00 per hour.
There is a limited amount of pay and display parking on the roads around the hospital.

How do I discuss an issue with my care or my birth experience?

Please contact your midwife who will give you the various options.

Which entrance do I use out of hours at night?

There is 24 hour access via the Labour Ward entrance. The best way to get there is via Gordon Close or Dartmouth Park Hill.

Do I get to keep my notes when I go home?

As your notes are a legal document, the hospital will store them for 25 years. We will provide you with an electronic summary of your pregnancy journey.

FAQ: Have you implemented the 7 immediate and essential actions outlined in the Ockenden Review?

Have you implemented the 7 immediate and essential actions outlined in the Ockenden Review?

We are pleased to confirm that Whittington Health has successfully implemented all 7 of the immediate and urgent actions set out in The Ockenden Review into the care of pregnant women and babies at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
In her report Donna Ockenden identified seven immediate and essential actions that every maternity service in England must implement at pace in order to prevent a repetition of the problems which she identified at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. These were:
  • Enhanced Safety: Trusts must work collaboratively to ensure serious incidents are investigated thoroughly and Trust Board must have oversight of these.
  • Listening to Women and their Families: Maternity Services must ensure women and their families have their voices heard.
  • Staff Training and working together: Staff who work together must train together and Multi-Disciplinary Team ward round twice daily.
  • Managing complex pregnancy: There must be robust pathways in place for managing women with complex pregnancies
  • Risk Assessment throughout pregnancy: Staff must ensure that women undergo risk assessments in pregnancy at each contact.
  • Monitoring Fetal Wellbeing: Dedicated leads for Fetal Monitoring who champion best practice in fetal surveillance.
  • Informed consent: Women must have access to accurate information to enable informed choice.
After a self assessment against the criteria set by NHS England and Improvement and a further review and assurance visit process we can confirm that Whittington Health is compliant against all of immediate and urgent actions set out in The Ockenden Review.

The safety of people giving birth with us and their babies is our top priority. You can be assured that we have taken time and put considerable effort into ensuring that we have taken all possible learning form the Ockenden Review.

We have a close working relationship with the 
Whittington Maternity Voices Partnership and value contribution that parents to be and families can bring when reviewing and developing our maternity services. It is important that we listen to all women and put their voice at the centre of our care.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our Patient Advice Liaison team or our Maternity voice partnership. We are very happy to answer your questions.

Last updated30 Dec 2022
Working on it!