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Referral Criteria

How Many Weeks Pregnant Are You? Referral Pathway
From positive test until dating scan
(usually 12 weeks)
Pain or bleeding in pregnancy, call GP (NHS 111 out of hours) or attend Emergency Department if severe pain or very heavy vaginal bleeding.

Referral from HCP required to be seen in EPU.
Dating Scan (usually 12 weeks)
until 15+6 weeks
Call GP (NHS 111 out of hours) or attend Emergency Department if severe pain or very heavy vaginal bleeding.
16 weeks onwards Contact Call a Midwife Line 0300 123 5473 for any urgent enquiries.

 

Please do not contact the Early Pregnancy Unit to arrange an appointment with the midwife to book your pregnancy. You can do this by going online: Badger Notes - Self-refer your pregnancy to Ashford and St Peters

 

You must have a referral and appointment to attend the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU).

We are an appointment only service, we must receive a referral from a Health Care Professional (HCP) including your GP, Community Midwife, Fertility & other community clinics or NHS 111.

Health Care Professionals: Please complete the referral form here

Once we have received a referral we will contact you within 48hrs (During our opening hours below) for an initial telephone triage, please ensure your correct phone number is on the referral.

As per NICE Guidelines, only women who have had the following are eligible for self-referral to the Early Pregnancy Unit.

This includes a history of:

  • A previous confirmed ectopic pregnancy
  • A molar pregnancy
  • Two or more miscarriages

The following patients are also eligible for self-referral to EPU:

  • Previous late miscarriage or stillbirth over 12 weeks gestation
  • Previous termination for fetal anomaly
  • Previous neonatal death

These patients should call EPU on 01932 722662 when they have a positive pregnancy test so that we can arrange an appropriately timed appointment for them.

EPU is open Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm with emergency scanning available by appointment only.

 

The Early Pregnancy Unit is a multi-disciplinary service and is delivered by a team of Consultants, Doctors, specialist nurse sonographers, nurses and midwives who provide consultation, assessment, scans and treatment plans for women with complications of pregnancy up until your 12 week scan.

The Early Pregnancy Unit assesses women with complications such as pain, bleeding and excessive vomiting. The dedicated staff are sensitive and committed to supporting the physical and emotional needs of women and couples requiring our service.

 

When should I get a referral to the Early Pregnancy Unit?

If you have a positive urine pregnancy test and are experiencing pain and or bleeding from up until you have had your 12 week scan.

You should contact your GP, Community Midwife, Fertility & other community clinics or NHS 111.

Once we have received a referral for you we will contact you within 48hrs (During our opening hours below) via telephone, please ensure your correct phone number is on the referral.

 

What does bleeding and pain mean in Early Pregnancy?

Bleeding and pain during early pregnancy are relatively common symptoms and do not always mean there is a problem.

The below guide may help you to assess your bleeding:

Severe bleeding

Means you are soaking through 2-3 of your usual pads each hour for 2 or more hours. For most women, soaking through their usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is considered severe. You may have a gush of blood or pass a clot, but if the bleeding stops, it is not considered severe.

Moderate bleeding

Means that you are soaking more than 1 pad in 3 hours.

Mild bleeding

Means that you are soaking less than 1 pad in more than 3 hours.

Minimal bleeding

Means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.

 

You may require emergency care if:

  • you are in significant pain despite simple pain killers such as Paracetamol
  • experiencing moderate to severe vaginal bleeding

 

What do I do if I am vomiting in early pregnancy?

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy affects up to 80% of pregnant women. The severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which affects about 0.3–3.6% of pregnant women.

Women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy should contact their GP for an assessment of their symptoms to exclude other causes for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy such as urinary tract infections. If your GP is closed you can access the out of hours GP services. We do not accept self-referral to the Early Pregnancy Unit for vomiting in pregnancy unless you are already currently under our care.

You can find some more helpful advice regarding nausea and vomiting in pregnancy on the Pregnancy Sickness Support website.

 

What else do I need to know?

The Early Pregnancy Unit is classified as an Emergency Service and you may be invited to attend the unit for an appointment. Women are seen in order of clinical priority, which means that you may be in the department for longer than anticipated.

We are an appointment only service. Once we have received a referral from a medical professional – we will contact you directly to complete a triage over the telephone and advise the best management going forward. This is because women with early pregnancy complications may not necessarily need to attend in-person or may be more suited for an assessment in different clinical or maternity service. Some women may also be advised to monitor their symptoms at home.

Coping with problems in early pregnancy can be difficult and therefore when you attend an early pregnancy appointment you can bring one adult support partner with you, however children are unable to attend with you. If you have concerns with regards to this please speak to the nurse or midwife in charge.

 

Link to the AccessAble website

 

Information about access to our Early Pregnancy Unit can be found on the AccessAble website.

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