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Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet supports new unit

07 April 2005

Darcey Bussell OBE will officially open the new Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 12 April 2005.

Darcey Bussell OBE will officially open the new Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 12 April 2005.

£200,000 has been invested in the unit which offers expert care and treatment for women who are experiencing problems in early pregnancy.

The Unit offers triage, counselling and scanning rooms, and is located next to the gynaecology ward, Annie Zunz, in case women need to be admitted.

The Unit cares for women through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and bereavement - as well as women who have had previous miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.

Sister of the new Unit, Tina Hutchings, said: “This new Unit offers women who are having problems early on in their pregnancy with a more specialist service where they can be monitored much more closely in a comfortable and modern environment.”

Ms Bussell gave birth to both her daughters at the Hospital. She said: “I am so grateful to all the wonderful staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. They looked after us all so well.”

During the visit Ms Bussell will be embarking on a tour of the Unit, meeting staff and patients before she formally opens the new Unit by unveiling a plaque on the Hospital’s stage.

Victoria Proddow, 33, from Kew visited the Unit in November last year when she suspected she was having a miscarriage.

She said: “Tina was amazing, very sympathetic and immediately put my mind to rest. The afternoon I called she invited me in and gave me a blood test and a scan - which confirmed that I’d had a miscarriage. I am now 14 weeks on in my pregnancy and it’s great to know that staff at the Unit are still happy to give me advice or help should I need it.”

Chief Executive Heather Lawrence said: “We are delighted that Ms Bussell has taken time out of her busy schedule to open this new Unit which provides a much needed service for local women at what can be a very emotional time in their lives.”

PHOTOCALL

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the launch. Please arrive at 4.00pm prompt on Tuesday 12 April at the main reception at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road. Please confirm that you will be attending by contacting the press office on 020 7808 9899. Photos will also be available from the press office after the event.

NOTE TO EDITORS

Darcey Bussell OBE was born in London and has been dancing since the age of 13. She joined The Royal Ballet as a Soloist, becoming a First Soloist in September 1989. Just three months later on the first night of The Prince of the Pagodas, Darcey was promoted to the rank of Principal. She was aged just 20 at the time. She was voted Dancer of the Year in December 1990 by the readers of Dance & Dancers magazine. In February 1991 she was presented with the Variety Club of Great Britain’s Sir James Garreras Award for the most promising newcomer of 1990, and one week later with the Evening Standard Ballet Award for 1990. In April 1991 she was selected as the joint winner of the Cosmopolitan Achievement Award in the Performing Arts category. She was created an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1995 New Year Honours List.

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