A new virtual care service, called the Women’s Assessment Service, has been introduced in South Australia, enabling women with early pregnancy loss symptoms or gynaecological concerns to receive treatment from their homes.

Operated by the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, the service will help women across South Australia to receive urgent assessments from experienced midwives through video consultations.

This service eliminates the need for women to visit and wait in an emergency unit during critical times.

The Virtual Women’s Assessment Service, claimed to be the first of its kind in Australia, has been launched as a 12-month pilot after the success of a trial.

It is available to women less than 20 weeks pregnant with pregnancy loss symptoms, those experiencing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and those facing gynaecological issues.

Patients accessing the virtual service are initially seen by experienced midwives and can be referred to obstetrics and gynaecology doctors virtually or in-person as needed.

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Women’s and Children’s Health Network interim CEO Rebecca Graham said: “There is no doubt for a woman who may be experiencing early pregnancy loss, waiting in an emergency department, or waiting to see a midwife in a clinic when surrounded by other expectant women, can be a stressful and even heartbreaking experience.

“Giving women a choice to receive a virtual assessment from their own home might just go some way to minimising some of this stress and anxiety.

“This service is a new option, but of course, women can always choose to present to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital or their closest emergency department if they prefer, just like always.”

The service can be accessed through the Women’s and Children’s Health Network website. This initiative builds on the success of the Child and Adolescent Virtual Urgent Care Service.