Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation
Registered Charity No: 1122286
Patient Helpline: +44 (0) 845 070 4636
Contact us info@theepf.org

ECTOPIC PREGNANCY FOUNDATION REPORT – 2016

It has been a busy year for the Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation with a number of challenges.

Education

The multiple choice questionnaire for gynaecologists, general practitioners and medical students remains popular.  Certificates are sent to respondants displaying their percentage score and these can be used as part of the individual Personal Development Portfolio (PDP).     

The patient 24 hour helpline has been busy, and thanks to Healix International for providing this important service to women and their relatives. 

We have sent posters to Accident and Emergency departments in the United Kingdom and aim to send two further mail-shots in 2016. These posters highlight the potential pitfalls of ectopic pregnancy, including vital signs and physical examination and also the importance of having a high index of suspicion in cases of abdominal pain.  We are also looking at a poster to be sent to every General Practice in the UK.

To encourage interest amongst medical students in ectopic pregnancy we sponsor two prizes:-

The Lawson Tait Prize in Gynaecology was awarded to Christina Tavener for her essay entitled “The medical management of ectopic pregnancy cannot be justified as first line treatment, discuss”. 

The Montgomery Irvine Prize to the University of the West Indies was awarded to Rhonette Spalding for her essay entitled “Discuss the management options in a woman with a possible diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy”.  

The prizes take the form of a certificate and monies (hopefully used for medical textbooks). 

Training Courses

We have previously run a number of courses on ectopic pregnancy. These involve lectures and video demonstrations in the morning and ‘hands-on’ training in the afternoon.  We have had difficulty in organising such courses due to the fact that we are reliant on a number of different equipment manufacturers to provide material for the day.  We have recently increased the amount of surgical equipment available for teaching and now also have 5 complete camera stacks, monitors and abdominal trainers.  This will give us the flexibility to run the course independent of equipment manufacturing companies.

A number of other hands-on workshops have been organised, consisting of mornings of lectures and hands on laparoscopic training in the afternoon.  Candidates gain experience of ovarian cystectomies and endo loops, tripolar diathermy and also the use of retrieval bags.  In addition, we teach intracorporial laparoscopic suturing.

Patient Experiences

A number of women have e-mailed accounts of their experience of ectopic pregnancy to be shared with others and this has been a very popular part of the website. 

Fundraising

We are very grateful to all our fund-raisers who enable our various activities to happen.

A ‘Just Giving’ link has been added to facilitate fund-raising activities.  A number of individuals have undertaken fund-raising activities for the Foundation. These include running a marathon and a 10K run. In addition Mr Padwick (Trustee) has previously completed the Blenheim Palace triathlon.

Mr Jason Keen has agreed to hold a number of quiz nights at the Feathers and the Coach and Horses in Hertfordshire. 

Collections at ‘Best for Less Limited’ in Rickmansworth continue to be a further source of funds.

The Imperial Medical College (Charing Cross and St Marys Hospital) run a rag week and the Chair has been written to suggesting that they choose us as their charity.

Compliance

This charity is registered with the Charity Commission, charity number: 1122286. Its profile, including financial information can be inspected at www.charitycommission.gov.uk.

Challenges For 2016

With the increasing number of early pregnancy units fewer women with an ectopic pregnancy are seen in the Accident and Emergency Departments.  This means that doctors in A&E have less experience and the diagnosis may not be considered, especially if women with vague gastrointestinal symptoms fail to be diagnosed potentially leading to maternal mortality.

We plan to meet with the President of the College of Emergency Medicine to discuss collaboration and discuss the possibility of adding relevant multiple choice questions their junior’s core training.

Also, we aim to meet the President of the Royal College of General Practitioners to publicise the GP MCQ’s and make then part of the Gynaecological training and part of the their Professional Development Portfolio.

We have up to now relied on volunteers who gave their time freely to work on the administrative side of the website.  We feel we have now reached the stage where it is important that we put things on a more formal footing.  We need to employ somebody on a part-time basis for fundraising and general administrative duties.

At present we do not have a Patron for the Foundation.  One of the challenges for 2016 will be to identify and appointment one or more patrons. 

Website

The website has been refreshed and Mr Tom Shurville, Director of Distinctly Digital has optimized the website and has obtained a Google grant.  He has worked closely with Russell Smith from Healix International and we now regularly have over 4000 hits a week. 

Publications

We encourage research in ectopic pregnancy and have had a number of publications in peer review journals. 

Ovarian Ectopic Pregnancy: Aetiology, Diagnosis and Challenges in Surgical Management.  Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.  July 2012, Vol 32, No 472-474.

Joseph R, Irvine  M 2012.

Reporting Rates of ectopic pregnancy: Are we any closer to achieving consensus?

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Vol 32, No 1, Pages 64-6.

De Rosnay P, Irvine M 2012. 

Dr Robert Lawson Tait: The Forgotten Gynaecologist J Obstet Gynaecol. 2011 Nov;31(8):695-6. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2011.613497Glenn J1, Irvine LM.

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Mrs Julie Spendlove and Dr Ronald Joseph for their administrative support.

Also Mr Russell Smith (Healix International), and Mr Tom Shurville, Distinctly Digital for the web development and optimisation.

Dr Peter Mason and his team at Healix International for the ongoing support of hosting of the 24 hour patient helpline. 

Mr Laurie Montgomery Irvine
Founder and Chief Executive
January 2016