I am often asked which is my preferred hospital between the Royal Hospital for Women and Prince of Wales Private Hospital. I do not have a strong preference, however there are some differences between the Royal Hospital for Women and Prince of Wales Private Hospital. In reality both are good hospitals, and the delivery suite midwives are generally excellent. I hope the following information will help:
Dr Rahul Sen
Advantages of Royal Hospital for Women
- An on-site neonatal intensive care unit if you have a very pre-term baby (eg twins).
- Better facilities for women with major mental health problems, including major anxiety/depression.
- Option for early discharge on the Midwifery Support Programme (MSP), where midwives will come to visit you at home if you leave hospital early, and live in a catchment area.
- A wide variety of antenatal education is available.
Disadvantages of Royal Hospital for Women
- I cannot bring my own Anaesthetist.
- Stricter hospital protocols, which allows less flexibility and autonomy. For example, we may decide jointly that we wish to induce labour, but the request can be over-ruled by the hospital.
- The hospital is less supportive of elective caesarean section on request, and is generally less well geared towards private patients.
- Midwives are used to doing most of the deliveries and not all midwives like looking after private patients in labour, where the obstetrician comes in for the birth. There is a frustrating tendency for your private obstetrician to be called too late for the delivery.
- Not all ward services a provided by consultants: eg the pre-admission clinic and some ward rounds are done by registrars and the pain team, rather than by your anaesthetist.
- The Hospital is older, and the rooms are in need of refurbishment.
- The food is not as good, and meals are usually served in a communal area, not brought to you.
- You need to bring more of your own things, such as nappies.
Advantages of Prince of Wales Private Hospital
- There is a night nursery where your baby can be cared for at night between feeds.
- The hospital is smarter, more modern and has nicer rooms and better meals.
- The hospital is better geared towards private patients with specialist led care and less regulation.
- Option to go to the Crowne Plaza for some of your post-natal care if you are self-caring.
- You can attend drop in sessions on weekdays and get breastfeeding advice even after discharge.
Disadvantages of Prince of Wales Private Hospital
- Post-natal care can be great or can be patchy and some care is provided by health assistants
- Once you leave the hospital it can be very difficult to be readmitted if there are any complications, which means you may need to wait in the emergency department with your new-born baby.
In reality both hospitals are good and the differences between them relatively small. Please be aware that in neither hospital is a single room guaranteed from your first night. My midwifery team usually ensures that you have good support, even after discharge from hospital.
I hope that this helps with your choice of hospitals. It is something that we can discuss further at your booking visit. Parking reminder: when you come in to hospital to have your baby please remember to buy a 5 day car park pass, as this will reduce your parking cost significantly.
Dr Rahul Sen