Bourn Hall offers virtual IVF consultations to fast-track fertility treatment once it reopens its clinics in Cambridge, Wickford and Norwich.
New hope for those with baby dreams
Putting IVF treatment on hold has been devastating for patients and staff, says Bourn Hall Chief Executive Dr Mike Macnamee, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As the government announces that fertility clinics can apply to reopen, Bourn Hall is gearing up and introducing online IVF consultations for the first time.
In line with government advice all new fertility treatments were stopped in March and existing patients had their treatment suspended. For many this involved freezing all their fertilised eggs (embryos) ready for embryo transfer when it is safe to do so.
For the clinic and its patients this period has been heart-breaking.
Mike continues: “The lockdown guidelines for clinics were introduced overnight and the implications for each patient were different depending on their stage of treatment. This period has been very distressing; particularly for those in their late 30s and above where time is very precious.
“One piece of comfort is that where patients were able to proceed with egg collection and had all their embryos frozen this will not have been detrimental to their treatment outcome, as frozen and fresh embryos have an equal chance of success in creating a baby.”
Although all fertility testing and treatment is currently on hold, the government announced on May 1st that clinics with a sound Treatment Commencement Strategy could apply to reopen. In preparation for this, Bourn Hall has been working on a robust plan including the use of PPE that would ensure the safety of patients and staff. This strategy has to be approved by the government’s fertility regulator (the HFEA) and the application process can begin from 11 May.
In addition, the Clinic is introducing virtual consultations with a fertility doctor, using a secure online clinical consulting room to fast-track treatment when it is available. IVF treatment takes about 9 weeks.
“If you have results from previous fertility investigations that suggest you need IVF treatment then we are offering online consultations immediately with one of our specialist fertility doctors,” Mike explains. “Our consultant will discuss your results, talk through your treatment options and prepare a personalised treatment plan.”
If you have not yet had diagnostic tests this is not a problem. The consultant can still give you bespoke advice and put in place a provisional plan. Once the clinic is re-opened, it will be able to quickly perform any necessary tests in one appointment and refine the plan accordingly.
Bourn Hall provides both NHS funded and self-funded fertility testing and IVF treatment, with excellent success rates.
“Time is critical in fertility treatment,” Mike continues. “By having a consultation in the next few weeks, you will be in our booking system and we will be able to contact you directly about your next steps as soon as we are able to.
“There is much that people can do while in lockdown to boost their fertility health and make treatment more successful. The measures we are implementing will mean a smooth and rapid patient journey for those wanting to start a family.”
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