Early pregnancy

Women experiencing early pregnancy complications can be referred to either of our early pregnancy units at the Trust. Between Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital we see women for ultrasound scanning and arrange ongoing care if they have a problem with the pregnancy. 

We also provide emergency care for acute gynaecology (non-pregnancy related) complications, only by referral from our Emergency Department. At the West Mid site, this is provided by the on-call team in the Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) Unit.

What we do

Our team of experienced specialist nurses, sonographers and doctors provide women within a one-stop service that may include:

  • Ultrasound scanning
  • Blood tests and results
  • Pregnancy complications counselling
  • Medical and surgical procedures, if needed, for a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • Follow-up care
  • Onward referral for specialist clinics as required
  • Acute gynaecology

We operate an appointment-only system, which means women should be referred by a healthcare professional (such as their GP or a doctor in the Emergency Department). The only exception to this is a history of previous ectopic pregnancy, when women can self-refer.

Women who require urgent medical assistance in early pregnancy should go to the Emergency Department for review by the on-call gynaecology team.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have measures in place to protect patients and staff from the spread of the virus while ensuring women receive the care and advice needed in the early stages of pregnancy. Please be aware that we will ask you to wear a face covering when attending your appointment and also to comply with our Trust policy on entering the building—a temperature check, regular hand hygiene and minimising your movement within the hospital. You will also be asked about any symptoms of COVID-19 so that we can take precautions during your visit.

Vaccination is recommended in pregnancy, but the decision whether to have the vaccine is your choice.

Women experiencing bleeding and/or pain, a history of ectopic pregnancy or those with recurrent miscarriage can be seen for assessment up to 18 weeks (up to 20 weeks at the Chelsea site) into the pregnancy—after this time they will be seen within the maternity unit.

All referrals will be triaged by clinical staff and patients will be provided with specialist care. Please note that this may not involve an ultrasound scan, if it is not appropriate. We are increasing our virtual clinic capacity where appropriate. 

Your appointment

Please note we are unable to accept walk-ins—you must have a referral from your GP or the Emergency Department. However, if you have had a previous ectopic pregnancy, please contact our unit as soon as you know you are pregnant to arrange and plan the correct timing of your scan. 

Ultrasound scans

The majority of scans we do in our units are done ‘transvaginally’ which means the ultrasound probe is placed into the lower part of the vagina for improved pelvic assessment. It is not harmful to a pregnancy. It is also safe for you and should not be painful. Please let staff know when you attend your appointment if you feel unable to complete a scan this way and your healthcare professional will discuss your options. 

Waiting times

We always endeavour to see patients at their appointment time, however some consultations take longer than others and emergencies do arise. We always give the same level of expert care to our patients.

Children and visitors in our units

Within our units we try to maintain a calm atmosphere, especially for women who may be experiencing a pregnancy loss or other difficult news. During the COVID-19 pandemic, children are not permitted in the department

One partner/support person may attend any of your scans. We continue to ask them to wait outside the clinic until the appointment starts to reduce the number of people in waiting areas. Visitors must comply with our Trust policy regarding a signed declaration on entering our buildings, temperature checks, face covering, regular hand hygiene and minimising movement within the hospital. This is to protect our patients and staff. Thank you for your understanding during this time.

Research

We are a research-active hospital and may invite you to take part in one of our research studies. These help us to improve the care we provide women in early pregnancy and gynaecology. This is entirely voluntary and whether or not you choose to take part will not affect your care and treatment. Please speak to a member of our team if you are interested in taking part in one of our studies. 

Further information

If your scan has confirmed an ongoing pregnancy please make sure to book your pregnancy care.

Who we are

Our expert team of clinicians provides early pregnancy services at both hospital sites.

Chelsea and Westminster

  • Beth Cartwright (Lead Consultant)
  • Yemi Kuponiyi (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Dede Ofili-Yebovi (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Sharmistha Guha (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, works cross-site)
  • Kirsten Lafferty (Clinical Fellow)
  • Georgina Merriner (Receptionist and Administrator)
  • Euphemia Osei-Tutu (Lead Clinical Specialist Nurse)
  • Hannah Kilpatrick (Clinical Specialist Nurse)
  • Sue Collins (Clinical Specialist Nurse)
  • Rebecca Naughton (Clinical Nurse Specialist)
  • Sonography Department Team (led by Ultrasound Superintendent Ankia Meiring)

West Middlesex University Hospital

  • Suzanne Hollamby (Lead Consultant)
  • Menike Ekanayake (Sister Gynaecology Outpatients and EPU)
  • Natalie Nunes (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Anjali Sharma (Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Andrea Day (Locum Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Sonography Department Team (led by Superintendent Radiographer Alexandra Drought)

Contact information

Our early pregnancy units are sometimes very busy—if you are unable to contact us by telephone, please leave a message on the answerphone and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

We are open Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm. Please note our evening clinics are currently suspended but this will be reviewed as the coronavirus situation changes. Our Saturday morning diagnostic clinic is for early pregnancy complications—access to this clinic is only possible by attendance to our Emergency Department (A&E) during the preceding 24 hours.

The Elizabeth Suite
Early Pregnancy and Acute Gynaecology (EPAG)
4th Floor, Lift Bank B
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
369 Fulham Road
London
SW10 9NH 

Reception
T: 020 3315 5073

Nurses
T: 020 3315 5070

Referrals: For GPs and health professions only—see this page

West Middlesex University Hospital

We are open Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm.

Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)
East Wing, 2nd Floor (main hospital building)
West Middlesex University Hospital
Twickenham Road
Isleworth
TW7 6AF 

For further information and advice please see the links below or contact the unit on:

T: 020 8321 6506
T: 020 8321 6070
Text message: 07920 020 800
E:  

We are open Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm.

Referrals: For GPs and health professions only—see this page 

For patients: Please complete this questionnaire once you have been given your appointment time and only once—any errors or extra information should be noted during your appointment.

Further information

Websites

Leaflets

        Videos

        Hyperemesis Gravidarum

        Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)

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