Home » Our Services » Clinical Services » Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)

Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU)

EPAU nurses

Our nurse-led specialist unit is located at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital on the first floor of the Jigsaw Building.

We offer urgent assessment for women who present with pain/bleeding when 6-14 weeks' pregnant and can assess, scan and in the majority of cases offer you a diagnosis or treatment within 24-48hours.

We also see patients with a history of a previous ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and recurrent miscarriages (three or more consecutive).

Unfortunately we are not a walk-in service, but happily accept referrals from GPs, Emergency Departments, midwives and other healthcare professionals.

If you have a confirmed miscarriage, we are able to talk you through your options in accordance with the NICE Guidelines.

Please note our appointments are in the mornings.

Meet the team

Lead Sister Vanessa Wood has a gynaecology background, working in women's health since 1986 and within EPAU since 2007.

Wendy Copping, our Deputy Sister, has been part of the team since June 2015 and previously was as a Bowel Cancer Nurse Specialist.

Before coming to the clinic

It is often a good idea to have the support of a partner, close friend or relative with you when you attend our unit. However, we have limited space in our waiting area, so please only bring one person with you.

Wherever possible please try to make childcare arrangements for young children. If you need to bring your children with you, please try to contact a relative or friend as soon as possible to come and take care of them for you. You may not be feeling well and need help to look after them.

The time spent in the unit may vary. The average time can be 1-2 hours. At times this may be longer due to meeting the individual needs of all our patients.

At the clinic

You should have been advised not to eat or drink anything before your first appointment, unless you have already had a scan confirming a viable pregnancy. If you feel you need to eat or drink, please check with the nurse first.

You will be seen by one of our nurse specialists who will ask you some questions and arrange a scan if appropriate. Once you have had your scan and the nurse has your results, you will be seen again to discuss the next steps, which may include the need for a blood test to be taken at the unit.

Our specialists can also:

  • decide whether you are able to safely go home
  • explain why you need to stay in hospital
  • arrange a follow-up appointment at the unit
  • ask you to phone the unit at a certain time for your test results

Unless you ask us not to, we will send your GP information about the care we have given you.