The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Gynaecology Acute Treatment Unit

The Gynaecology Acute Treatment Unit (GATU) is a 24/7 specialist nurse and doctor-run, consultant-led acute service.


It is located on ward J24a at The Leeds Centre For Women's Health, 2nd floor, Chancellor Wing, St James Hospital.

Opening Times

24 hours a day.

What we do

We are a consultant-led specialised unit for women who present with acute symptoms suggestive of a gynaecological cause. During your visit you will have a consultation with a doctor or specialist nurse and may be offered an examination including an internal examination.  You may also need investigations as part of your management.


Women with gynaecological conditions may be referred via the following:

  • Accident & Emergency department
  • Urgent Care Centre
  • GP/ Patient care access line (PCAL)
  • Early Pregnancy Unit
  • From another speciality

The unit does not take self-referrals.

Referral Criteria

This unit is for women with emergency gynaecological problems who need to be seen immediately:

  • Red / swollen / painful lump outside the vagina known as Bartholin’s or vulval abscess with signs of systemic infection
  • Sudden unexpected Heavy Vaginal bleeding which is on going/ with evidence of anaemia / with haemodynamic compromise
  • Sudden unexpected severe abdominal pain
  • 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 (8.30 – 5pm weekdays/8.30-12.00 Saturday)
  • Fluid collection related to underlying gynaecological cancer known as Ascites
  • Symptoms of Ovarian Hyperstimulation (OHSS) following fertility treatment
  • Post-natal problems for women who are more than 30 days post delivery
  • Inability to pass urine because of vaginal prolapse

If your symptoms are not severe or are long-standing you may be referred to a routine gynaecology clinic for on going care and investigations of your symptoms.

What happens at the unit?

On arrival please report to the reception where you will be asked to complete a form regarding your personal details. You can bring up to two people to the unit. Children are not allowed on the unit. Please see COVID-19 Changes to services for new visitor policy. 

Shortly after your arrival you will then be seen by a healthcare assistant or nurse for a check of your blood pressure, temperature and other basic observations. You will be asked to provide a urine sample.

Our doctors and trained nurses aim to see you within four hours of your arrival to our ward. However, emergency patients who require immediate medical care are treated by the same staff and this can result in delays. We will keep you informed as far as possible of how long you can expect to wait to be seen.

Your consultation will be with either our on call gynaecology doctors or specialist nurse. He or she will assess you and plan any investigations necessary. These investigations may include vaginal swabs, blood and urine tests. An ultrasound scan will be requested and performed ONLY IF REQUIRED.

What happens after your consultation?

The on call doctor or specialist nurse may decide on one of the following:

  • You are medically fit and able to go home
  • You can go home but will be contacted by the unit with results of certain investigations
  • You need a follow up in the unit to assess your symptoms or to get specific investigation results back
  • You are referred back to your GP or to another specialty in hospital
  • You require admission to the gynaecology ward for observation, investigation and treatment
  • You are referred to a gynaecology clinic once you go home for on going care

Discharge from the unit

After you have been discharged your GP will be informed of your visit to our unit as part of your care unless you request otherwise.