A new custom designed clinic for women experiencing problems in early pregnancy is due to open in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) this month.
As part of CUMH's review of services at the end of 2009, consultant obstetrician, Dr. Keelin O'Donoghue and her colleagues, including midwives, sonographers, administrative staff, midwifery managers and hospital management, got together to look at the how the existing early pregnancy service might be improved.
A decision was taken to relocate the existing early pregnancy clinic from the busy environment of the outpatient department on the first floor of the hospital to a more appropriate and quiet area on the 2nd floor. On that floor, an existing patient lounge was converted into the new clinic, the Aislinn Suite.
According to Dr O'Donoghue, all women with early pregnancy problems should have access to a dedicated early pregnancy clinic that provides efficient management of their care, together with adequate counselling and appropriate treatment.
Early pregnancy care involves a range of staff including sonographers, midwives, doctors and support staff who specialise in identifying and managing the problems of early pregnancy, such as bleeding and pain.
"The physical environment in which this service is provided is very important. The newly opened Aislinn Suite provides such an environment, with more staff dedicated to early pregnancy care working in a quieter custom-designed space enabling a better quality of care to women with early pregnancy problems," Dr O'Donoghue said.
The new clinic will run Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 1.00pm on an appointment-only basis. Women with complications in early pregnancy will be seen through referrals from their GP.
However, according to the HSE South, a limited number of urgent appointments will be available every day and can be made by contacting the clinic during its opening hours, or through the CUMH Emergency Department.
The clinic is due to open on June 14.
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