Sunday, 13 May 2012

Booking an NHS Hospital

                    Conversation with Herr Bureaucrat at Chelsea und Westminster. Achtung!

I needed to book a hospital to secure a place for a baby I am having in London in November. I needed to speak to one of the bureaucrats in the hospital so this is how the conversation went:

Me:  Hello I would like to book myself in to have a baby in November.  I am 13 and a half weeks pregnant and would like to go to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.   I am currently away in the Netherlands until October  and returning when I am 8 months pregnant to be around all my family and friends, so all my antenatal care will actually be done abroad.  However I just would like to secure a place in your hospital for around the middle of November. I am a British citizen and I am in your catchment area.

Bureaucrat:  That's impossible.

Me: What?

Bureaucrat:  It can't be done.

Me:  Please will you explain why this is a problem?

Bureaucrat:  You have to be under the antenatal care of the hospital to guarantee a place.

Me:  But I'm not in the country and all of that is being taken care of  in the Netherlands.  The scans were done on Harley street in the Fetal Medicine Centre which is internationally respected, and the blood tests were taken by a GP in Holland and processed in a lab.  I can send the results to the hospital.

Bureaucrat:  Nope they will have to do their own tests when you come back.

Me:  But I'll be 8 months pregnant  and the tests on the NHS aren't as comprehensive as the private ones I have already had. Why would I have unncessary tests done?

Bureaucrat:   It is our procedure. But we will probably take you.

Me. So you might take me and you might not.  Great. Bureaucracy strikes again. And if you  don't

Bureaucrat:  Well you might be able to go to St. George's.


So is it just me or are these people complete idiots?


  1. So typical. And they talk about needing to cut costs on the NHS. That's like them sending me a letter telling me I'd missed my appointment for a C-section (3 weeks later) and asking if I wanted to reschedule. I had cancelled. I went private, after my first experience left me in absolute fear to go NHS again. Ironically, that time they had LOST my appointment, and I had had to reschedule. Yes, I had to reschedule an appointment to give birth.

    1. I remember this - weren't you actually holding your son in your arms at the time they were telling you to come in for a c-section...