Couples in Liverpool and Knutsford who are considering undergoing fertility treatment will be offered a financial peace of mind as well as increased chances of becoming pregnant thanks to a newly announced partnership between The Hewitt Fertility Centre and the innovative IVF programme offered by Access Fertility.

The Hewitt centre based in the Liverpool Women's Hospital, alongside its sister facility in Knutsford is amongst the best in Europe, however even with success rates of 52% the cost for many people not eligible for NHS treatment that have to self-fund is sometimes too great. In an attempt to address the issue of how to offer such an important, life-changing procedure to those in need, regardless of their financial situation, the award-winning Hewitt Centre has teamed up with Access Fertility to offer patients a new option, including reduced program fees as well as refunds if their treatment is unsuccessful.

Access Fertility's plans can save couples almost 40% on treatment costs and with 48,000 women every year undergoing IVF treatment it could be a lifeline for thousands of couples who feel the service is out of reach.

The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and is already being utilised to great effect in clinics up and down the country. Couples will be provided with up to 3 full cycles of fertility treatment as well as transfer and storage costs at a greatly reduced rate, allowing more people to receive more treatment cycles and therefore making them far more likely to conceive. Whist up to 3 full cycles will be offered until a successful pregnancy is achieved, the Hewitt Centre's proven success rates mean that the 3 cycles will not necessarily all be required, if for example a successful pregnancy is achieved after the first cycle. However, this scheme is unique in its promise to continue support for couples until a child is born, this is in contrast to other such private 'pay-as-you-go' schemes that will end their commitment at the point of conception, which is sometimes followed by miscarriage or still birth, leaving couples emotionally and financially bereft. There is some eligibility criteria based on individual circumstances that will determine the number of cycles and treatments offered but these will be discussed with patients during their consultation.

Additionally, this scheme is unique in its promise to continue support for couples until a child is born, this is in contrast to other such private 'pay-as-you-go' schemes that will end their commitment at the point of conception, which is sometimes followed by miscarriage or still birth, leaving couples emotionally and financially bereft.

CEO of Access Fertility, Ash Carroll-Miller said, "We are thrilled to be working with The Hewitt Centre, which has deservedly built a reputation as one of the best clinics in the UK which places patient support at the heart of the clinic's philosophy. An IVF journey comes with many challenges and we want to make treatment more affordable, reduce patients’ financial risk and, ultimately, help them to achieve their dream of having a baby. We’re proud to partner with The Hewitt Centre to make a difference to patients in the North West of England and Wales."

Since 2004, the total number of IVF cycles performed nationwide each year has almost doubled, however many do not have a baby via IVF on their first cycle, with only around 30% of the first IVF cycles in women under 35 years old resulting in a live-birth. Staying in treatment dramatically improves the chances of having a baby, yet many patients abandon the idea of further treatment, when weighing up the odds of failure with mounting costs of treatment and possible financial loss.

Mr Neil Rogers, Managing Director of The Hewitt Fertility Centre said of the new partnership; “Undergoing fertility treatment can be an emotional and stressful experience for couples who are unable to conceive a child. The Hewitt Centre and Access Fertility believe that, at present, the financial challenge of fertility treatment adds an additional, and unnecessary anxiety as well as being detrimental to the health of potential mothers, something they are confident will be alleviated with this new scheme. Peace of mind is invaluable for our patients and we are constantly looking for ways in which we can make things as easy as possible for those undergoing fertility treatments. We here at The Hewitt Centre are very proud to say that we are the only fertility clinic in the Merseyside and Cheshire area that offers the Access Fertility refund scheme and believe that it is a further indication of our determination to provide our patients with the best care possible."

Dr Andrew Drakeley, Clinical Director at the Hewitt Centre added; “Not only do Access Fertility have a proven track record of tending to clients financial concerns, they facilitate greater access to treatments which can have a positive effect on cumulative pregnancy rates. The revolutionary refund system that Access Fertility offer, partnered with our consistently proven treatments, allows more women to undergo more cycles of IVF and ICSI treatment, meaning the likelihood of a positive pregnancy rate among these women is higher. Here at The Hewitt Centre we consistently achieve pregnancy rates among the best in Europe and this new initiative means that so many more couples will have access to the treatments that they need."