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Health minister makes return visit to hospital

29 August 2013


A self-contained new unit for women experiencing problems with their pregnancy will be officially opened when health minister Dr Dan Poulter, pays a return visit to Southend University Hospital next month.

The creation of the bright and spacious early pregnancy suite  in a redundant side ward was made possible by a £88.5k Department of Health award earlier this year.

The money also helped create a maternity triage service on the hospital's central delivery suite to ensure that women in labour were seen promptly and received the best care from the right member of staff.

The early pregnancy suite has now moved away from the central delivery suite onto Eastwood gynaecological ward so that women with pregnancy problems can be scanned, assessed and, where necessary, receive counselling in privacy.

The counselling room has been named after nurse, Marion Bull, who sadly died last year and whose family have donated £1400 to provide additional comforts and personal touches in her memory. The gynaecological assessment room retains the name of highly-respected consultant Dr Philip Hagan who died in 2008.

Matron and supervisor of midwives, Sharon Murrell, who submitted the successful bid, said: "This is a huge improvement to our service - in particular the new dedicated counselling room where women experiencing pregnancy problems can be seen in private, away from the bustle of the maternity unit.

"We now have all our gynaecological service in one place and are delighted that Dr Poulter has agreed to come back to visit and perform the official opening ceremony."

During his visit on September 5, Dr Poulter will also visit the hospital's successful acute stroke unit and learn about the developments which have put it in line for two national awards.

The hospital-based team and their community colleagues will learn later this year if they have won awards when the finals of theE-Health Insider andthe Health Service Journal 2013 awards are held in London.