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New fetal diagnostic service at Frankston Hospital

Local couple Amy & Luke (pictured)  are among the first people to benefit from the new service provided by  the Women’s Health Unit. 

Pregnant women with suspected fetal abnormalities no longer have to travel to the city for diagnosis, thanks to a new service now in operation at Frankston Hospital.

“What this service was started for is monitoring high risk pregnancies and looking after women with suspected fetal abnormalities,” explains Dr Jayshree Ramkrishna, who is running the service.

“Women are referred if they are found to have a high risk of chromosomal anomalies on a screening test or a suspected fetal anomaly and are offered counselling and options to have definitive testing.”

“We also see women where there is a concern about the growth of the baby and twins, who may need ongoing monitoring.”

A qualified Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (O&G) with specialist training in O&G ultrasound, Dr Ramkrishna says not everyone referred to the service will be diagnosed with a fetal abnormality.

“We also see a lot of women where we can reassure them that everything is fine,” she says.

Local couple Amy and Luke are expecting twins and were pleased to be able to have the scans they needed close to home.

“Initially we were referred to another hospital for the scans so it saved us having to travel a long way there,” says Amy.

“We were very happy with the service. It’s been reassuring for us to know we’re getting the level of care our little twinnies need and to have the peace of mind that the twins are doing what they’re meant to be doing.”

Dr Jolyon Ford, Clinical Director of Women’s Health, says the service will make a big difference to pregnant women on the Peninsula.

“The service is reducing waiting times as well as travel time for local women,” says Dr Ford.

“This new service is just one way we’re providing local people with the best of care, on their doorstep.”

The fetal diagnostic service started in February and runs one day a week at Frankston Hospital.

The  multidisciplinary team behind the new service: Dr Jolyon Ford, Dr Jayshree Ramkrishna, Vicki Ditcham, Della Attwood, Anne Holst, Sharyn Hayles and Dr Amy Swanson. 

Women in medicine

  • More than 3000 babies are born at Frankston Hospital every year.