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The Cost Of Private Maternity Care And Childbirth In London

After learning that you’re pregnant, the first thing to do is simple — celebrate! However, once the happy news sinks in, it is time to consider the next steps.

Cost_Maternity_Fees

There are many small and big decisions to be made when it comes to your pregnancy – perhaps beginning with whether or not you should choose to have a private birth. It’s well known that the NHS does a good job, but for your pregnancy, you might want a more one-to-one approach.

When it comes to your big day, private maternity facilities are known for providing top quality care in immaculate surroundings. You are kept informed and comfortable every step of the way. Of course though, this kind of superior treatment comes at a cost and it’s important to know just how much.

Here at Private Pregnancy UK, we strive to provide you with the latest costs associated with private childbirth and in our research, we spoke with Imperial Private Healthcare, which provides care through The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital. Their insight proved invaluable, and we are happy to pass on the knowledge to our readers.

It’s important to note that although these costs relate specifically to Imperial Private Healthcare, they provide a reasonable estimate of how much private maternity care and childbirth costs in London.

Detailed Costs And Options
The cost of private maternity care depends on a number of factors, including how simple or complicated your pregnancy is and the type of birth you’re having.

There are a number of common elements that you’ll need to consider, regardless of whether you’re having a normal vaginal birth or caesarean. These include things like routine blood tests and scans, antenatal classes, postnatal care, hospital fees and consultant fees. However, if there are complications or you have elected to have a caesarean or epidural, the hospital fees and anesthetist costs will be higher, and, with a caesarean you will need to stay in hospital for longer after your baby is born.

We’ve broken down the various costs involved in the tables below and you can find detailed descriptions of each element of care further down in the article. These prices are indicative and are correct as of October 2015.

The Lindo Wing St Marys Hospital

The Lindo Wing At St Mary’s Hospital

Type of care Normal Vaginal Birth Caesarean Birth (emergency or planned)
Consultant obstetrician fee £7,000 – £8,000 £7,000 – £8,000
Routine antenatal scans £220
(average)
£220
(average)
Routine blood tests** £500 £1,000
Antenatal classes £385 – £685 £385 – £685
Hospital fee* for delivery and first 24 hours of care £5,900 £7,300
Cost of additional night per standard room £790 £1,090
Epidural including anaesthetist fee £890 £965
10 hours of postnatal midwifery care** £1,000 £1,000
Optional circumcision £300 + £400 (Consultant Fee) £300 + £400 (Consultant Fee)

These prices are indicative and are correct as of October 2015.
*For more in depth information about the Lindo Wing packages please visit http://imperialprivatehealthcare.co.uk/patients/prices/
**Included in hospital fee

Queen Charlotte Chelsea Hospital Entrance

Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital

Type of care Normal Vaginal Birth Caesarean Birth (emergency or planned)
Consultant obstetrician fee £7,000 – £8,000 £7,000 – £8,000
Midwifery-led package* £7,150 N/A
Routine antenatal scans £220
(average)
£220
(average)
Routine blood tests** £500 £1,000 
Antenatal classes £325 £325
Non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) £647 £647
Hospital fee for delivery and first 24 hours of care £4,360 £5,650
Epidural including anaesthetist fee £890 £965
10 hours of postnatal midwifery care** £465 £465
Cost of additional night per standard room £795 £795

These prices are indicative and are correct as of October 2015.
*This price covers the private midwifery service and the first 24 hours of a hospital stay and does not include consultant obstetrician fees should you require them (for example if a caesarean is required). Additional fees are applicable for postnatal visits and care beyond one day.
**Included in hospital fee

Cost Maternity Consultant Fees

If you are interested in speaking to a private maternity hospital, please see our list of leading private hospitals for childbirth in the UK. These carefully selected hospitals can provide you the information you need to begin your journey towards parenthood.

Key Elements Of Private Maternity Care And Childbirth:

Consultant Obstetrician fee
These fees will vary between individual consultants and depend on how far you are into your pregnancy when you engage your consultant’s services. Fees around the £8,000 mark will see you through all your antenatal check-ups from the first trimester, your delivery, and postnatal appointments for first six months after birth. If you begin obstetrician-led care later in your pregnancy, say week 35, you can expect to pay less. The consultant’s fee doesn’t include hospital costs.

Antenatal Care
During the course of your pregnancy, you will usually have between 7-10 antenatal appointments with either a midwife or a consultant depending whether you have a consultant or midwife-led package. They will check the health of both you and your baby, and organise any tests or scans you may need. These costs are likely to be included in your consultant or midwife’s fees.

Antenatal Classes
Some private maternity hospitals offer antenatal education classes for parents and they tend to cost between £325 for a course of three classes, to £685 for bespoke guidance.

Pregnancy Scans
Most individual scans cost around £220, but the price will vary depending on what scans you need and which hospital you are being treated in. Women usually have at least two scans during their pregnancy (the dating scan/early pregnancy viability scan and the anomaly scan), but some women may have additional scans depending on their health or how the pregnancy is progressing.

During the course of your pregnancy you may need or decide to have some or all of these scans:

Blood Tests
You may need to set aside around £500 for routine pathology tests such as chicken pox, antenatal profile testing and Group B Streptococcus, although check to see if these are included in your hospital package. In certain instances, additional blood tests may be required, which can increase the cost to £2,000.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT)
Many couples opt to have prenatal screening to check for possible foetal abnormalities, however traditional screening methods can leave room for doubt, and invasive procedures like chorion villous sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis have a 1 in 100 risk of miscarriage.

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), commonly known as the Harmony test or Panorama test, is a safe and reliable blood test that checks for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome, without the risks associated with traditional methods. This test is only available privately in the UK and not on the NHS.

Cost of Maternity Care - Hospital Fees

Hospital Fees
Hospital fees cover your delivery and the hospital care and accommodation that you’ll need during the birth and for the first 24 hours afterwards. It’s important to note that they don’t include consultant fees or non-routine procedures. Hospital fee packages vary and can be consultant-led or midwife-led.

Hospital Fee For Consultant-Led Care
Consultant-led hospital fees at The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital include midwifery care during your delivery and postnatal stay, theatre fees, routine midwife assessment and booking appointment, routine blood tests and medication, and a private standard room with en suite accommodation for you and a partner the first night after the baby is born. Additionally, all meals, plus partner breakfasts and daily newspaper delivery are included along with nursery care services and postnatal physiotherapy. The fee will be around £4,500 – £7,500, depending on how complicated the birth is.

Cost of Maternity Care - Midwifery Fees

Hospital Fee For Midwife-Led Care
If you are planning to have a normal vaginal delivery and are at a low risk of complications, you may feel that midwife-led care will provide you with all the support you need. Some hospitals offer a midwife-led maternity package for such low-risk pregnancies that does not involve a consultant obstetrician.

However, in case your circumstances change and complications occur, the private maternity hospital would provide you with the option to move to a consultant-led package. It is therefore prudent to be prepared for the extra cost involved in such a scenario.

A midwife-led care package at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital starts at £7,150 from the 12th week of pregnancy.

Your Hospital Stay
Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital offer exceptionally comfortable standard rooms, while The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital offers standard or deluxe en suite rooms, or a suite – sure to cater to a range of tastes and budgets. The prices listed in the tables are based on care in a standard room.

Anaesthetic Fees
The cost of anaesthetics isn’t usually included as a standard in private maternity care package. The cost will vary depending on whether you are having a normal vaginal birth or caesarean.

Optional Circumcision
Many providers will also offer post birth options such as circumcision. Check and compare costs in advance if this is something you wish to do after your baby is born.

Contingencies And Emergencies

Be aware that when you sit down to do your figures, they can only ever be an estimate. Even if you are deemed low risk and you have secured the best antenatal care possible, childbirth is unpredictable, so it’s best to pre-empt all scenarios.

For instance, you may require more time in hospital. An extra night’s stay will cost in the region of £1,000 per night, and, if you need an emergency caesarean, it will generally raise the cost of delivery by £1,500 or more. At The Lindo Wing, the epidural is all-inclusive, but some hospitals will include the first dose and charge for any extra top-ups.

If the baby needs emergency care after the birth, children of UK residents would be entitled to NHS care (in the case of The Lindo Wing and Queen Charlotte’s, this can all be provided on site), but there may be extra charges for non-UK resident families.

Are You Insured?
Most UK insurers view pregnancy as a choice, rather than a medical condition, so antenatal care and delivery will most likely not be covered, except in cases of a medically necessary caesarean.

However, there are exceptions often for foreign nationals who have international insurance policies. Even in such an instance, many of these companies view pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, so you would need to be covered before you actually become pregnant. If in doubt, the best thing to do is to check with your insurer before you commit to any treatment or care. If you are covered, you must make sure you check exactly what for as it’s highly likely that there will be exclusions.

Making The Right Decision For You
Private maternity care can provide you with the very best support throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Every hospital has its own set of benefits when it comes to this special time, so we recommend that you research what is right for you and your growing family. It’s a good idea to consider your priorities and really determine what is most important to you personally. It may be time-consuming and perhaps a bit expensive, but in the end, when your little one has arrived safe and sound, we’re sure it will all have been worth it. 

We would like to thank the team at Imperial Private Healthcare, which manages The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital and the Sir Stanley Clayton Ward at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, for providing their specialist knowledge for this article.

The Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital
Praed Street
London, W2 1NY
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3312 6224
Email: lindomaternity@imperial.nhs.uk
Web: www.imperialprivatehealthcare.co.uk/our-hospitals/lindo-maternity

Sir Stanley Clayton Ward at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital
Du Cane Road
London, W12 0HS
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3313 3925 / 1466
Email: SirStanley.Clayton@imperial.nhs.co.uk
Web: imperialprivatehealthcare.co.uk/our-hospitals/queen-charlottes-chelsea/

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