The Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU) is led by a team of highly skilled specialist doctors that offer diagnosis and treatment of complications which may arise in unborn babies. Midwives form part of the team within FMU and are available for routine and specialist midwifery advice and support whilst you have care within FMU.
The FMU is a regional, national and international referral centre for fetal medicine, caring for more than 7,000 patients each year. We aim to provide the highest standard of care in a professional, calm and supportive environment.
Our internationally recognised multidisciplinary team (MDT) offer individualised care for pregnant women and their families, when there is a concern for the health of an unborn baby.
We provide rapid access to women booked within our trust and those of associated hospitals and are able to see urgent referrals within 48 hours. In addition, we are always happy to discuss individual cases over the telephone with medical colleagues from other hospitals.
The Fetal Medicine Unit is located on the 1st Floor of the Elizabeth Garratt Anderson Wing (EGA).
The FMU provides a comprehensive service throughout pregnancy in the diagnosis and management of all fetal conditions. Our neonatal service is a recognised centre of excellence and our close relationship with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children allow us to offer unrivalled antenatal and postnatal care.
Services are provided by a dedicated team of fetal medicine doctors and midwives to provide seamless care. The consultant team comprises of individuals who are internationally recognised as leaders in fetal medicine.
When you attend the FMU you should report to our reception desk where we will take your pregnancy notes and check you in.
You will then be called to one of the scan rooms. Your medical and obstetric history will be taken and prior to the scan taking place you will be advised on what will be done during your scan. Once you are happy with this, the scan of your baby will commence.
After the scan, you will have the findings explained and you will be given time to ask questions. All relevant options for you will be discussed and any further appointments will be made.
UCLH is a teaching and training hospital. Therefore during your appointment, there may be several members of staff present, including the consultant, a senior trainee and the midwife running the clinic. There may also be visiting doctors, medical students and student midwives all of whom are in the process of learning. They will all introduce themselves and you should be asked whether or not you are comfortable to continue with the number of people present. If at any point you feel uncomfortable by the number of people present, please let the team know and they will accommodate your request.
Whilst every effort is made to see you on time, delays can occur due to the nature of the clinics, but you can expect to be kept informed of when you are likely to be seen.
We are aware that you may be anxious about your appointment, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our midwives.
As a department, we greatly support the advancement of scientific and clinical knowledge by conducting and participating in research. You will be given the choice to participate in research. All our research projects have been formally reviewed by an ethics committee. It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part after listening to a team member who will discuss the study with you and provide an information leaflet.
If you decide not to take part in research it will not in any way affect the care you and your family receive.
We are currently involved in a number of research projects; details of which are on our research page.
Find out more about maternity research.
Professor Donald Peebles is the Clinical Director for the UCLH Division of Women’s Health (2015 - present) and is a consultant in obstetrics and fetal medicine. He provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services on the Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU) with particular interests in the management of fetal growth restriction, fetal rhesus disease and disorders of fetal brain development.
Donald has a number of research interests that focus on improving the outcomes for women and their babies following complicated pregnancies. He is the president of the Blair Bell Research Society, the showcase for British research in obstetrics and gynaecology as well as a member of the Academic Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In 2013 he was appointed as co-clinical lead for the NHS England London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network.
Donald is a faculty member of the Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Theme of the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre.
Professor David offers a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services in the Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU). She specialises in cases where the baby has a structural anomaly, a genetic condition or when the baby’s growth is poor (fetal growth restriction).
She has close links with the talented UCLH neonatal team that are expert in caring for the smallest preterm infants. Professor David set up the Preterm Birth Clinic at UCLH which is now one of the busiest in the UK, providing continuity of care in a nurturing environment. The comprehensive service offers pre-conceptual counselling, a wide range of cerclage and other treatments and predictive tests.
Jan Deprest is a leading international fetal surgeon who works two days a week at UCLH as a Consultant and at UCL as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. At UCL he works in the Institute for Women's Health and the Translational Imaging Group. His home institution is at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and its University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium). Prof Deprest is currently the academic chair of the Department of Development and Regeneration and director of the Centre for Surgical Technologies.
Mr Attilakos is the lead clinician for the Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit (MFAU). In addition to looking after single pregnancies, Mr Attilakos specialises in looking after complicated and uncomplicated multiple pregnancies.
He has a special interest in Postgraduate Medical Education and is the RCOG College Tutor for UCLH. He has co-developed a national course for teaching operative birth skills to junior obstetricians.
Mr Pandya is a consultant in fetal medicine and has been an honorary senior lecturer at UCLH since 2000. He is currently the director and clinical lead of fetal medicine services at UCLH.
Mr Pandya is dedicated to caring for pregnant women and in particular the well-being of their baby. His expertise is in the ultrasound examination of the mother and unborn baby(s) with particular interest in first trimester anomalies, fetal cardiology, surgical anomalies, renal anomalies and fetal therapy. He has done extensive research into screening for fetal aneuploidy and fetal medicine.
Raf Napolitano was appointed as a Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine in 2017. He is the lead clinician for the Ultrasound Screening Unit and one of the developer of the Training Programme in Obstetric Ultrasound and Fetal Medicine. He provides a range of diagnostic and therapeutic services on the Fetal Medicine Unit and the Preterm Birth Clinic along with looking after women in labour.
Dr Melissa Whitten subspecialised in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at UCLH under the supervision of Professor Charles Rodeck and was awarded subspecialty accreditation by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She was appointed as consultant obstetrician at UCLH in 2008.
Melissa's role includes a significant educational commitment and she has been instrumental in developing multi-professional simulation teaching and training opportunities for doctors and midwives. She was appointed as Undergraduate Lead for Women’s Health and Men’s Health for UCL Medical School in 2011 is responsible for managing learning and assessment for over 350 students each year.
Mr Wimalasundera is the Clinical Lead for Obstetrics at UCLH and considered one of UKs leading specialists in the management of multiple pregnancies. He manages both low and high risk pregnancies and specialises in the management of multiple pregnancies including complicated monochorionic pregnancies and runs the multiple pregnancy service.
He encourages the natural management of pregnancies but also offers the option of a natural caesarean Section when it is appropriate.