The UK fertility watchdog, the HFEA, has advised clinics to develop their own policies to keep patients safe. We are committed to keeping patients and have made several changes in our pathway to ensure we address issues of social distancing, PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing strategy for office and treatment appointments, which are outlined below.
For patients who require fertility treatments, our treatment centre, London Women’s Clinic (LWC) have their own policies and code of practice which will be issues to patients at the appropriate time.
Due to the social distancing policy of Government still being in place, we would like you to attend for your appointments without your partner unless it is absolutely essential to sign treatment consents in person. We will aim to keep him/her informed via web-based appointments as required as well as video calls at the time of the appointment.
Video Consultations and Virtual Open Evenings
Wherever we can we will see patients remotely and plan treatments and discuss results of various tests through virtual appointments.
Our appointments are being spaced apart to allow additional cleaning to protect all involved at the time of the appointment, therefore we will be able to see limited number of patients, although we are trying to extend our opening hours and will be as flexible as we can.
We are running regular virtual open evenings to meet people who are considering fertility treatments, looking for a clinic and doctor but want to do so from the safety and comfort of their own home. Feedback from patients on these sessions has been very positive.
We will be sending the a questionnaire to be filled in prior to every appointment that you have with us at our clinic or at the treatment rooms for those undergoing procedures. Please do help us by filling this in as we cannot proceed further without having received this in advance. If anything has changed between answering the questions and visiting us, please update us. This is purely to triage every visit to maintain safety of all involved. The questionnaire can also be downloaded here.
Patients undergoing insemination, embryo transfer or egg collection procedures as part of your IVF/ICSI/IUI treatments, must undergo COVID 19 throat and nose swab (Viral RNA test) and blood test (Antibody test) for added precautions. Both partners, if applicable, need to have these tests at least once prior to the procedure. It is worth mentioning that different clinics may have different approach with regard to testing, however European (ESHRE) and British fertility society (BFS) advice on this issue is very similar to our recommendation.
There will be additional costs involved at £150 for each person having these tests and you will need to self-administer these tests as per the instructions. If you have already had these tests carried out recently, please provide us the evidence and we can then make a clinical decision whether you need to repeat them or not based on your individual clinical situation.
These tests are carried out to rule out any active infections of COVID 19 and also to work out whether you have been exposed to the infection of COVID 19 in past few weeks/months. We appreciate this is not a perfect approach as no one has been able to define a perfect approach as yet to eliminate transmission of this virus, we are trying to minimise and mitigate the risks as much as we can based on available scientific methods.
We will ask both partners, if applicable, to sign a health and safety document to confirm and agree to the all the steps we are employing to protect you and us while this pandemic is still active.
We may check body temperature, if necessary, prior to the appointment. Please note that appointments and treatments may have to be cancelled should you develop any symptoms at any stage through treatment.
We highly recommend you wear face masks while attending the appointments at our office. We will be taking all necessary precautions by wearing appropriate PPE where needed as per Government and professional body guidelines.
The RCOG (Royal college of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines are clear that women who are pregnant do not appear to be at any significantly increased risk of catching the COVID 19 virus and hence it seems safe enough to plan and carry on with a pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof method to prevent the transmission of COVID 19 and we cannot guarantee that you will never be exposed to this virus, but we are trying our best to keep the risk to the minimum possible. You of course have a choice of not carrying on with the appointment or treatment and we will always respect that choice, should you exercise that.
We look forward to meeting you to initiate some normality in life and achieve the goal of creating a family.