12 Dec 2017, 1:31 p.m.

Women suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) can now be looked after as day cases following an innovative move by the Trust designed to improve patient experience.

HG is a complication of pregnancy characterised by extreme levels of nausea and vomiting starting in early pregnancy and persisting for many months. Women with the condition can become quickly dehydrated and frequently need hospital treatment.

Between 50 and 70 women each year in the county are admitted to hospital with the condition, with an average length of stay of 2-3 days. The new plans will see most of the women being treated as day cases on Ward 9A of the tower block at GRH, with just a few requiring overnight admission. The HG Day Unit will see women being treated with rapid IV rehydration in recliner chairs, allowing them return home the same day.

Our team comprising of Karen Easton (Consultant Nurse), Dr. Doraiswamy (Consultant Gynaecologist) and Sarah Channing (Registrar) are delighted to have set this up and are confident this will benefit women. They say: “HG can lead to a host of physical and psychological complications and by treating it in a way that is more focused on the patient; we are hoping to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety caused by the condition.”

In other areas of the country, the development of day units has delivered promising improvements in patient satisfaction as well as a reduction in overnight stays. The benefits to women include:

  • No waiting for a ward bed, which means there is no delay in starting treatment.
  • Treatment in a quiet and comfortable area with recliner chairs
  • Dedicated nursing staff who are able to reassure and offer advice on how to cope with and control their symptoms
  • Minimal disruption to the patient’s home life because admission and treatment can be planned in advance, allowing them to plan and organize work commitments, child care and transport and therefore reducing stress and anxiety.

The new service has already started and aims to treat the majority of women in the county who suffer from the condition each year. This pilot has been very positively received by both staff and patients in the opening weeks.