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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Women's services success at West Cumberland Hospital

Women's services success at West Cumberland Hospital

Posted on Wednesday 29th July 2015
oudai ali

L- R: Lisa Lowe (staff nurse), Louise Bragg (staff nurse), Mr Oudai Ali, (consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology), Lyndsey Sullivan (healthcare assistant) and Janice Talbot (staff nurse)

An outpatient gynaecology service at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven is going from strength to strength, treating over 150 women since it began a year ago.

The hysteroscopy service means more women can now be treated efficiently and safely without the need for general anaesthetic.

A hysteroscopy is a thin scope which is used to examine the inside of the womb and is commonly carried out when a woman’s symptoms such as bleeding or pelvic pain, suggest there could be a problem.

Mr Oudai Ali, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, launched the service when he started with the Trust in April 2014. Mr Ali has also set up a new laparoscopy service at West Cumberland Hospital which is a technique used to carry out a hysterectomy without the need for an open wound, meaning less pain and a quicker recovery for patients.

100 women have undergone major surgery using the laparoscopic technique at West Cumberland over the past six months with the majority able to go home the next day.   A new enhanced recovery system means some women can even go home the same day after they have had their surgery.  The opening of the new hospital in October offers a theatre recovery area which will facilitate the enhanced recovery system and provide a much-improved environment for patients.

Mr Ali is part of a team of three permanent consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology who are all working together to continually expand and improve services. Mr Ali said: “Before I joined the Trust, I was looking for a post where I could fulfil my vision to set up new services and I saw the potential to do so at West Cumberland Hospital, particularly with the new hospital opening.

“The hysteroscopy outpatients service enables women to feel as comfortable as possible so that a range of conditions from a simple abnormal growth to more serious conditions can be quickly diagnosed and treated with just a 15 minute procedure in comparison to the time it would have previously taken under general anaesthetic.”

The hysteroscopy service currently runs once a week and patients can now be offered the procedure half-an-hour after their initial consultation meaning they do not have to wait for an appointment.

Lisa Lowe, staff nurse who works in the service, said: “Every patient is provided with information prior to coming in for their procedure and we like to create a light hearted atmosphere to make women feel as relaxed as possible when the procedure is taking place.

“One of the qualified nurses works the equipment whilst the other talks to the patient. We give every patient a feedback questionnaire to fill in and we get excellent feedback for the service. The vast majority of patients are very pleased that they have not had to go into theatre for the procedure and they can get some answers almost straight away.”

Mr Ali added: “The strength of service is in the team meeting regularly, working together and trusting each other. We share learning and listen to each other.

“We are continuing to take our service to the next level in preparation for the opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital in October. The new modern facility will allow us to really tailor the service to meet the needs of our patients and will include a rest area, dedicated scan rooms and a colposcopy/hysteroscopy room.”