Booking in with a maternity hospital is the first thing you will want to do once your GP has confirmed your pregnancy. Bearing in mind over-crowding and waiting lists, the sooner you make your first hospital appointment the better. Your first hospital appointment usually takes place between 12 – 16 weeks.
Maternity hospitals’ procedures vary when booking in for your first hospital appointment. Some hospitals require just a phone call when booking-in for your first hospital appointment; from there they will send you a registration form. Others allow you to download their registration form and send in. You will then be sent details of your first appointment. Your GP may also refer you to a maternity hospital. For a full list of maternity hospitals and contact details for booking in, please see our directory.
Before booking in, you need to decide on the type of care you would like to receive. These are public patient, semi-private patient or private patient.
Before booking in, you need to decide on the type of care you would like to receive. These are public patient, semi-private patient or private patient. Under the 1970 Health Act women are entitled to free maternity care, based on residency. Non-EU Nationals must contact their local Health Office to determine their eligibility for free maternity care.
Semi-private patients are seen by the same obstetrician for all hospital visits unless the obstetrician is on leave or tending to an emergency. Visits alternate between the hospital and your GP under the combined care scheme. You will be accommodated in semi-private accommodation if you are admitted before you deliver your baby and after delivery, subject to availabilty. Please note to check with your insurer if you are covered for semi-private care.
As a private patient, you can choose the consultant who will see you for all your appointments in their private rooms by appointment. You will be accommodated in a private room when admitted, subject to availability. To make a private care appointment contact the consultant’s secretary. Contact numbers will be listed on the maternity hospital’s website. For fee details please check with hospital.
Types of care
Your first visit is attended at the hospital followed by regular visits which are usually shared between your local GP and one of a team of consultant obstetricians. A consultant obstetrician will have overall responsibility for your care but you will not see that consultant at every visit.
Midwife led care is run in conjunction with a consultant led clinic. This is a popular choice as women are cared for by the same midwives for all their antenatal care. Following the attendance at the midwives’ clinic, midwifery care for the birth of baby and postnatally is provided by a team of hospital-based midwives.