Preterm clinic

The Preterm Clinic [PTC] started in 2010 and runs every Thursday at West Middlesex University Hospital within the Obstetric Medicine Clinic. It aims to offer specialised and friendly advice to women who have previously experienced a preterm birth or late pregnancy loss, or who are at increased risk of preterm birth. It is run by the H team of doctors and midwives led by consultant obstetricians Miss Joanna Girling and Miss Louise Page.

Most women are offered an appointment with us after their booking appointment, on the basis of their General Practitioner's referral letter or the information given to the midwife at booking; some women self-refer via the caw-tr.wm-anc@nhs.net email address. This may include women who have had surgical procedures to their cervix, sometimes after an abnormal smear. All requests for appointments are reviewed by one of the consultant obstetricians running the clinic so that the most appropriate care is offered.

At your first appointment with us we will take a detailed history from you and will try to work out the likelihood of you having a preterm delivery. If you have any clinic letters about your previous pregnancies or about any operations on your cervix, please do bring them along with you. For some women, the chance of an early delivery is small and we will advise that you have care for the rest of your pregnancy with your usual team of midwives and doctors. For other women, we may feel that further care within the PTC would be helpful: for example, some women benefit from scans to measure how long their cervix is, some need a cervical suture to be placed, and for others measurements of fetal fibronectin may be helpful. We also usually write a detailed letter to your GP after the first appointment, outlining the plan of care which seems most suitable for you, and give you a copy of this too so that you have a record of the discussion.

We are actively recruiting women to a variety of national trials looking into preterm birth, and hope that you will consider taking part if you are eligible. We fully understand if you do not wish to. Chris Adamson leads our Research Midwifery team. She is a valuable and experienced member of the PTC team, and a friendly face in the clinic, so look out for her! You can contact her about any of the trials if you are interested, please see the Maternity Research page