Dr Sarah Merritt
I am a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a specialist interest in early pregnancy and acute gynaecology, recurrent miscarriage and early pregnancy and gynaecology ultrasound scanning. I am passionate about empowering women during the early stages of their pregnancy. I have three young children and am all too aware of the anxieties and range of emotions from early pregnancy through to delivery that women, their partners and families can have.
I am very experienced in the management of patients with early pregnancy and acute gynaecology problems. I am the lead Consultant for Early pregnancy and Acute Gynaecology at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton. Prior to this post I trained and worked in London and I worked for three years as a clinical research fellow in the early pregnancy and acute gynaecology unit at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. I have become an expert in managing complicated cases such as pregnancies of unknown location and ectopic pregnancy. I have a post graduate accreditation in scanning, provide second opinion scans in more complicated cases, and deliver scan training to other clinicians. I have completed a research project in reassurance scanning in early pregnancy particularly focusing on women with a history of recurrent miscarriage and I have an on going interest in clinical audit and research at both local and national level. I have presented at both National and International Conferences, winning best presentation in Early Pregnancy at the 22nd International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology World Congress in Copenhagen in September in 2012.
In addition to my Early pregnancy work I undertake the full scope of practice of a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in my NHS role. I have expert competence in both open and laparoscopic (keyhole) abdominal and hysteroscopic (womb) gynaecology surgery. I have also completed an advanced training module in labour ward practice.
Qualifications: Postgraduate Certificate Specialist Ultrasound Practice; gynaecological and early pregnancy ultrasound (with Distinction), Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Diploma of the faculty of sexual and reproductive healthcare, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medical Sciences.
Dr Joanna Clark
I have been a Doctor for 13 years and having 2 young children myself I have experienced at first hand the roller coaster ride of pregnancy. It is never a smooth path but a journey that throws the unexpected at you at every turn!
I really value the opportunity Somerset Early Scans gives me to provide people with reassurance or the answers that they seek and I know that the way this care is given makes all the difference. All scans are not equal and a bad experience at the hands of someone with poor communication skills can be traumatic. Equally disappointing is being treated like you are an object on a conveyor belt. Having been a very worried person on numerous occasions both before and during pregnancy I have lived this and pride myself in looking after my patients in a sensitive and individualised way.
Before completing my GP training, I worked in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and gained a qualification in this specialty (MRCOG). I then obtained the Certificate in Ultrasound of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare and now perform around 200 early pregnancy and gynaecology scans per year. In addition to working at Somerset Early Scans I work part time as a GP at Taunton Road Medical Centre in Bridgwater. I have published many articles on the subject of women and newborn health and won several awards.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Medical Sciences, Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Diploma of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Letter of Competence in Intrauterine techniques, Letter of Competence in Subdermal Implants, Certificate in Ultrasound.
Angela Nicholson Nurse Practitioner
I have been a nurse for 25 years and am married with 2 teenage daughters. I have worked in Gynaecology for most of my career and now specialise in Early Pregnancy and Fertility, which is very rewarding.
I obtained a Diploma in Midwifery from the University of Exeter in 1993 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ultrasound from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2004. I am a trainer in ultrasound and regularly teach students of radiography and Obstetric Registrars how to scan. I have felt honoured to receive several awards for my work in early pregnancy.
I know the reassurance that Somerset Early Scans is able to offer is so valuable.
Debbie Hamilton Rose, Nurse Practitioner
I have worked as a nurse in women’s health, including early pregnancy for over 20 years.
I have 2 young boys with my husband and remember the anxieties that come with pregnancy that we are not always prepared for. With this and my current NHS experience; I acknowledge the need for high standard, experienced and reassuring care.
I am registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and have a Bachelor of Sciences diploma in Health. Specialising in early pregnancy and fertility has enabled me to qualify as a Sonographer in Early Pregnancy and Gynaecology with a Post Graduate Certificate in Ultrasound.
To be able to continue to provide care to women and couples in early pregnancy working with Somerset Early Scans is an opportunity I am delighted to be able to be part of.
Victoria Davis, Advanced Practitioner Sonographer
I have worked as an obstetric and gynaecology sonographer at senior level for over twenty years at a regional expert NHS centre. I also have extensive experience of private practice, having worked previously at Clarion in Bath. I am a teacher of ultrasound and take a lead role in other aspects of work such as quality assurance. I particularly enjoy early pregnancy scans where my sensitive approach is vital.
I have three children and personal experience of pregnancy loss, so I understand the anxiety that expectant mothers and fathers often feel. I find giving my clients the reassurance they are seeking incredibly rewarding, and do so with compassion and kindness.
I am delighted to be working with Jo and the team at Somerset Early Scans, and have the opportunity to help provide the valuable care and support that couples need, not only in the early stages but throughout pregnancy.
Qualifications: Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound, Diploma of the College of Radiographers (Bath) Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, Member of the Society of Radiographers and the public Voluntary Register of Sonographers.
Beata Berkes, Advanced Practitioner Sonographer
I draw great enjoyment from scanning in early pregnancy clinics; getting to know patients in a very unique situation and it makes me feel very special to make a difference in their life by helping them easing their anxiety with reassurance and care.
I am delighted to work for Somerset Early Scans and this amazing opportunity to support women and their families to go through this incredible and sometimes challenging period of their life. I am pregnant with identical twin boys so I understand the anxieties that expectant parents feel.
I have worked as a nurse in women’s health, including gynaecology and early pregnancy for over 5 years. Before completing my ultrasound training I worked in the community as a mental health nurse and as a nursing assistant in a very busy Early Pregnancy Unit in Bristol.
Qualifications: Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Ultrasound (UWE), Diploma in Mental health, Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, Member of the Society of Radiographers.
About Somerset Early Scans
The service was set up by Dr Jo Clark in 2014 to offer early pregnancy scans to all women, not just the few who could get one on the NHS. Due to demand she needed help so two very experienced senior Nurse Practitioner Sonographers joined the service (Debbie and Angela) as well as Lizzie who manages the bookings and administration.
In 2015 the service was extended to also offer non invasive prenatal tests, the state of the art screening test for down syndrome. In 2017 a clinic in Bath was opened and a new online booking facility launched. We are also expanding our repertoire of scans offered and recruiting some new team members.
We have now seen hundreds of clients and had countless wonderful feedback messages about our care. We really enjoy working in the service as we get to provide care in a way that couples want, rather being restricted to what the NHS has the resources to offer. Giving worried people the reassurance they seek and having the time to offer a truly compassionate service is very rewarding.
We registered with the Care Quality Commission in 2014 as an individual and then later in 2016 as an organisation. Our service is designed to fulfil all of the CQC requirements of healthcare organisations to be caring, responsive, safe, effective and well led. We are fully insured and are registered with the information commissioners office. For our professional practice we maintain registrations with all the relevant bodies, namely the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Society of Radiographers and we follow their codes of conduct.