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Lisa Simonetti

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: South Australia Health And Medicine > Nursing
Social Welfare > General
To investigate the benefits of Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics as a midwifery/nursing led model of care for patients experiencing miscarriage or potential pregnancy loss - Singapore, UK, Canada, USA
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The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship enabled me to travel to Singapore, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America to gain first hand experience in the services that are available to women who have early pregnancy problems and/or pregnancy loss/miscarriage.

It allowed me to observe the many Early Pregnancy Units across the world and the innovative, centred care that they are offering this group of women in a time of great emotional stress.

It has allowed me to challenge the idea that the services we offer here is Australia have the potential to be better.

The opportunity to meet with leading academics, clinicians and researchers in this field has inspired me with a new determination that we can make great change and provide women with a service to equal those around the world.

Pregnancy is a significant event in a woman’s life and as many as 25% of women will experience bleeding in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and about half of these women will go on to experience a miscarriage. This is often a difficult time for women, who need to feel that their condition is a priority, when in reality these women can be left waiting in emergency departments for hours whist waiting to see staff or for diagnostic results.

Early pregnancy units that run as a separate outpatient service provides an opportunity for this niche group of women to present with early pregnancy problems and feel that their condition is a priority to staff. In Australia there is a growing availability of early pregnancy services in emergency departments, however, throughout the world, they are providing the same services in an outpatient setting designed to fast track women who do not require medical intervention. These units provide women with assessment, access to information and relevant follow up.

These services have been proven to be improve the quality of care to women and produce considerable savings in financial and staff resources. This model of early pregnancy care has been widely embraced throughout the United Kingdom and Canada and efforts need to be made to continue the gathering momentum of these services as a standard health care practice throughout Australia.

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