Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Royal baby: Exclusive hospital unit and experienced gynaecologists for Kate

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their newborn son (PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their newborn son (PA)
BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19: Prince Charles And Princess Diana Holding Hands And Smiling As They Pose During A Honeymoon Photocall By The River Dee. The Princess Is Wearing A Tweed Suit Designed By Bill Pashley With A Pair Of Cream Shoes From The Chelsea Cobbler.
BALMORAL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19: Prince Charles And Princess Diana Holding Hands And Smiling As They Pose During A Honeymoon Photocall By The River Dee. The Princess Is Wearing A Tweed Suit Designed By Bill Pashley With A Pair Of Cream Shoes From The Chelsea Cobbler.
Royal babies' names are not usually revealed straight away and the public are often left guessing for several days as speculation mounts.
Royal babies' names are not usually revealed straight away and the public are often left guessing for several days as speculation mounts.

A medical team with extensive professional experience and knowledge of the Royal Family will look after the Duchess of Cambridge during the birth of her baby.

Marcus Setchell, who was the Queen's gynaecologist for two decades, is in charge of the care Kate will receive and helped save the lives of the Countess of Wessex and her eldest child Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor in 2003.

Sophie was rushed to hospital after complaining of severe internal pains when she was eight months pregnant.

She was dangerously ill from blood loss and doctors performed an emergency Caesarean.

Lady Louise was born weighing just 4lb 9oz and transferred to St George's Hospital for specialist care while the Countess remained at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, spending six days apart from her daughter.

Lady Louise was the first grandchild of the Queen to be born on the NHS.

In December 2001, the Countess was airlifted to hospital after suffering a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.

In 2004, Mr Setchell was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), a prestigious honour in the Queen's personal gift.

He also assisted with the Duchess of Cornwall's hysterectomy at King Edward VII's Hospital in 2007 and delivered Sophie's son James - Viscount Severn - the same year.

He looked after Kate when she was taken to hospital with severe morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy.

Mr Setchell is being assisted by Alan Farthing, the former fiance of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando and the Queen's current gynaecologist.

Mr Farthing, who has been a doctor for 26 years, works at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital in Hammersmith, west London, and St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, where Kate is due to give birth in the private Lindo Wing.

He became the Queen's gynaecologist, taking over care of royal mothers, in September 2008 and Kate's baby is his first high-profile royal birth.

The consultant gynaecologist, who qualified at St George's Hospital Medical School in Tooting, south London, also works privately at King Edward VII's Hospital, the Wellington Hospital in north London, St Mary's Lindo Wing and Harley Street.

He is a specialist in fertility sparing surgery, keyhole surgery, gynaecological cancers and endometriosis.

Mr Farthing was engaged to popular BBC presenter Ms Dando when she was shot and killed in April 1999.

He found love again with fellow doctor Janet Stowell. They married in 2008 and have a young son.

'Bespoke care'

The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth, is an exclusive private facility offering "bespoke care packages".

The Duke of Cambridge and brother Prince Harry were born in the wing and Alan Farthing - the Queen's gynaecologist, who is assisting his predecessor Marcus Setchell in caring for the Duchess of Cambridge - works partly at St Mary's - on the NHS and in the Lindo.

William made his public debut with his parents outside the hospital, wrapped in a white blanket carried in the arms of his mother Diana, with the Prince of Wales at their side.

Fully refurbished last year, the wing describes itself as having offered "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years". It has private en suite rooms designed to provide "comfort and privacy".

Deluxe rooms and suites are also available. A normal delivery package including a one-night stay costs £4,965, with an extra night in a deluxe room costing £1,050, plus consultant's fees which can come to around £6,000, depending on the care required, meaning a two-night stay can cost more than £12,000.

A suite of two rooms, with one used as a living room, costs £6,265 for a one-night stay with normal delivery and £2,200 for each extra night, meaning a two-night stay, with consultant fees of an estimated £6,000, would cost around £14,465.

Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge.

The expectant mother and her visitors can access the internet on wifi and there is a choice of a daily newspaper delivered to the room each morning. Toiletries are also provided.

All meals are freshly prepared in a dedicated kitchen and tea and coffee is provided for mothers and guests throughout the day.

The wing also offers a "comprehensive wine list should you wish to enjoy a glass of Champagne and toast your baby's arrival".

Postnatal rooms come with a fully reclining chair for partners who want to stay. They will receive a free breakfast in the morning and visiting hours are flexible.

The Lindo Wing's internationally renowned obstetric unit caters for complex pregnancies and deliveries as well as multiple births.

The unit specialises in complex trauma surgery as well as other specialties such as bariatric surgery, vascular surgery, gynaecology, urology, general surgery and ear, nose and throat procedures.

The wing has the benefit of being based in an NHS hospital if further complications arise, including its facilities for premature babies in the Winnicott Baby Unit

In 2006, William visited the refurbished NHS neonatal unit at St Mary's, cradling two tiny premature babies - one weighing just 5lb.

At the forefront of specialist care for premature babies, the Winnicott looks after some of the most critically ill newborns in the UK.

It treats around 350 sick and premature babies from across the country each year, caring for up to 18 youngsters at a time.

It is renowned for pioneering a gentle care approach and for its New-born Individualised Developmental Care and Assessment Programme, which helps to speed up growth and reduces developmental problems.

Techniques used to encourage development include baby massage and kangaroo care, where infants are held by their fathers, tucked into a pouch to allow close contact.

Diana, Princess of Wales, returned to St Mary's in April 1997 - four months before her death in a Paris car crash - when she toured the paediatric intensive care unit, meeting poorly youngsters.

William's great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, was the honorary president of St Mary's.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the hospital following the July 7 bombings.

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