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Gynaecology Assessment Unit (GAU)

What we do

We are a specialised unit for women with emergency gynaecological conditions. We provide access to diagnostic ultrasound and bloods with onward referral to appropriate treatment, clinics and specialties.

Conditions treated

Expected conditions include:

  • Red / swollen / painful lump on the vagina known as a Bartholin’s cyst
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Sudden abdominal pain
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Severe nausea and vomiting in pregnant women (6 to 14 weeks)
  • 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 8am – 4pm weekdays
  • Fluid collection related to underlying gynaecological cancer known as Ascites
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation following fertility treatment
  • Post-natal problems for women who are 10 days post delivery

What to expect while under our care

We aim to see you within 4 hours of arriving to the unit. However emergency patients are seen by the same staff on the ward so there may occasionally be a delay.

Our nurse coordinator will ask you to provide a urine sample and your temperature and blood pressure will be checked. Your consultation will be with one of our doctors. An in depth history of your symptoms will be taken. Decisions will be made as to which tests or investigations you may require for example blood tests, having a speculum inserted into your vagina and swabs taken, an abdominal examination and an ultrasound.

After your investigations, your doctor may:

  • Decide you are medically fit and able to go home
  • Arrange a follow-up appointment at the unit
  • Ask you to contact the unit for test results
  • Refer you to another speciality
  • Refer you to your GP
  • Explain the likelihood of having to stay in hospital and the reasons
  • Refer you to another outpatient clinic within the gynaecology speciality

These decisions will be undertaken with your consent.


Level 11, Thomas Kemp Tower, Royal Sussex County Hospital.


01273 523191


Referral routes

Women with gynaecological conditions may be referred via the following:

  • Accident & Emergency department
  • Urgent Care Centre
  • GP
  • Early Pregnancy Unit
  • From another speciality

This is not a walk in clinic however it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with all referrals triaged by the Gynaecological Registrar on-call on bleep 8618.

GP referrals

GPs should refer emergency patients via the Professional Support Line on 0300 130 3045.

Referral criteria

  • All haemodynamically stable non pregnant woman with suspected subacute/acute gynaecological conditions (where initial treatment within primary care, if appropriate, has been unsuccessful)
  • Early pregnancy cases presenting outside of the Early Pregancy Unit working hours of 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday

Exclusion criteria

  • Patients that are haemodynamically/medically unstable
  • Pregnant women over 14 weeks should be referred to the Day Assessment Unit or Labour Triage Ward


Patient information

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