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by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive

Brining our services to you at Aintree

Leading fetal medicine specialist, Leanne Bricker is a familiar face at our Aintree Centre for Women's Health where she identifies and cares for what may turn out to be high risk maternity patients.

She is just of one of our consultants who take a wide range of services to our Aintree Centre for women living in the North of the City. But a patient review has shown that some women are not aware that the services at Aintree are of the same standard as those at Crown Street and are provided by the same clinicians.

Providing services closer to home is high on our agenda because we know people like to be able to access their care locally whenever possible. We are achieving this by taking services such as ante-natal care out into local centres in areas including Dovecot and Speke. It is also why we have invested £250,000 in upgrading outpatient facilities at our Aintree Centre to improve our patients' experience.

The centre provides a vital dimension to our Trust with a comprehensive range of services convenient for women in the north of Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. The unit has a multi-disciplinary team including consultants, specialist midwives and nurses and other clinicians including ultra sonographers. We provide high and low risk antenatal care and fetal medicine for approximately 2,500 women a year. We also have a maternity day ward, operating five days a week, a young women's clinic and parenting classes.

A newly refurbished gynaecology department includes consultant led clinics for infertility, colposcopy, rapid access clinics for oncology, urogynaecology, hysteroscopy and general gynaecology. Other nurse-led clinics are provided for a range of problems.

In all, there are 8,500 attendances for gynaecology at the Aintree Centre. Although major gynaecological surgery has been transferred to Crown Street on the grounds of clinical safety, we are currently considering whether we can provide more elective day case surgery at the Aintree centre.

To that end, we have been working with the LINks forums for Liverpool, Knowsley and Sefton in respect of developing gynaecology services at Aintree. We are aware that there are in the region of 3,000 unnecessary attendances at Crown Street by women from the northern part of the city for care that could be delivered at Aintree or other North Liverpool sites. Many chose Crown Street because of Liverpool Women's reputation as a specialist centre. While that is true for some patients' complex needs, we are busy raising awareness among GPs as well as patients about the wide range of services that are delivered to the same standards at Aintree.

We are also aware that patients who do need to come to Crown Street sometimes have transport problems - members of Crown Street staff have taken the journey to understand the difficulties that these journeys pose. To help ease that situation, I would like to reassure you that we have been working closely with the Local Involvement Network (LINks)) to provide more outpatient and ambulatory services in the North of Liverpool.

09 January 2012