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Gynaecology Assessment Unit (GAU)

What we do

We are a consultant-led specialised unit for women who present with acute symptoms suggestive of a gynaecological cause.

During your visit you will have a consultation with a doctor or specialist nurse and may be offered an examination including an internal examination.  You may also need investigations as part of your management.


Women with gynaecological conditions may be referred via the following:

  • Accident & Emergency department
  • Urgent Care Centre
  • GP/ Patient care access line (PCAL)
  • Early Pregnancy Unit
  • From another speciality

Referrals from the areas mentioned above are accepted by the Gynaecological doctor on call who can be reached via the hospital's switchboard. The unit does not take self-referrals.

This unit is for women with emergency gynaecological problems who need to be seen; for example:

  • Red / swollen / painful lump outside the vagina known as Bartholin’s or vulval abscess with signs of systemic infection
  • Sudden unexpected Heavy Vaginal bleeding which is on going/ with evidence of anaemia / with haemodynamic compromise
  • Sudden unexpected severe abdominal pain
  • Post operative problem for women who have had gynaecological surgery within last 30 days
  • Vaginal bleeding or pain in early stages of pregnancy between 6 to 14 weeks pregnant, presenting outside of Early Pregnancy Unit working hours and other emergency gynaecological conditions.

If your symptoms are not severe or are long-standing you will be referred to a routine gynaecology clinic for ongoing care and investigations.

What happens at the unit?

On arrival please report to the reception where you will be asked to complete a form regarding your personal details. You may bring a person to accompany you if you wish to do so. Children are not allowed on the unit.

Shortly after your arrival you will then be seen by a healthcare assistant or nurse for a check of your blood pressure, temperature and other observations. You will be asked to provide a urine sample.

Our doctors and trained nurses will do their best and aim to see you within four hours of your arrival to the unit. However, emergency patients who require immediate medical care are treated by the same staff and this can result in delays. We will keep you informed as far as possible of how long you can expect to wait to be seen.

Your consultation will be with either our on call gynaecology doctors or specialist nurse. He or she will assess you and plan any investigations necessary. These investigations may include vaginal swabs, blood and urine tests. An ultrasound scan may be requested if required.

What happens after your consultation?

The on call doctor or specialist nurse may decide on one of the following:

  • You are medically fit and able to go home
  • You can go home but will be contacted by the unit with results of certain investigations
  • You need a follow up in the unit to assess your symptoms or to get specific investigation results back
  • You are referred back to your GP or to another specialty in hospital
  • You require admission to the hospital ward for observation, investigation and treatment
  • You are referred to a gynaecology clinic once you go home for on going care.

Discharge from the unit

After you have been discharged your GP will be informed of your visit to our unit as part of your care unless you request otherwise

Internal hospital signage with arrows to Main Reception, Outpatients and Pharmacy

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