Many people in the South West who were on the receiving end of fertility treatment have had their lives put on hold because the UK’s official regulators and advisory bodies have unanimously called for a halt to all fertility treatments during the current Covid-19 crisis.
In line with official guidance from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the British Fertility society and Public Health England, no UK fertility clinic is initiating any new fertility treatment during the lockdown.
Fortunately women and couples in the South West whose fertility treatment has been left in limbo can still benefit from the support of the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM), with phone or video consultations, treatment planning and patient support and counselling all available free of charge to registered patients.
Consultant gynaecologist Valentine Akande, who leads the team at BCRM, said:
“Because we are aware of the enormous impact this unprecedented time is having on our patients, we are now focusing all our efforts on providing the best advice and support we can offer in the difficult circumstances.
“Those patients who have had their treatment interrupted will be contacted directly, and we’re keeping them updated about what we are doing during this difficult and anxious time.
“We’ve also introduced ‘virtual’ patient support sessions and consultation via telephone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, to give direct access to our consultants and nurse to anyone who needs it – whether existing patients or potential new patients – and these sessions will continue to be available for as long as this crisis continues.
“And I have also just given a first webinar on ‘Fertility and the Lockdown’ informing patients on how we’ve adapted and our intentions to recommence treatment as promptly as possible.”
“Our priority at all times is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and our staff team, a number of whom – I’m proud to say – are currently working with and providing support to the NHS.
“It’s too early to say how Covid-19 will affect us and other colleagues in the fertility sector in the long run. But we are absolutely determined to get back to helping people have babies as soon as we possibly can – whenever that may be – with additional resources and systems already figured out to enable us not just to resume service as normal but to offer increased capacity when that happy day eventually arrives.”
Anyone wishing to book a patient support appointment can email BCRM at [email protected] or call BCRM’s hotline on 01173018605, where the team will do their best to accommodate callers according to their availability and their preferred method of communication.