Update to Patients: 13 May 2020

The Hewitt Fertility Centres, Knutsford and Liverpool have today (13th May) received the fantastic news that our application to recommence fertility services from Monday 18th May 2020 has been approved.

We are so excited for all our patients as we can only imagine how difficult the past weeks have been for all those seeking fertility treatment, and how comforting it is that you can finally get started.

Measures we are taking to keep you safe

Please understand that the service will be a little different to what it was before as we have put processes in place to keep you and our staff safe. This means we cannot restart treatments at the capacity we were originally working to as we continue to keep everyone socially distanced, so we will be monitoring the number of treatments we perform at any one time. 

When you can expect to start your treatment

We will now be making direct contact with those patients whose treatment had already started but had to be postponed due to the recent closure, to explain how you can get re-started. This also means we need to contact those patients who were postponed at later stages in their treatment as a priority. 

For those who have previously had treatment with us and are waiting to start a new treatment cycle, if you have already contacted us, we will be in touch to arrange a clinic appointment. This may be a virtual appointment. If you have not had treatment with us before and would like to discuss starting, please contact us on 0151 702 4123 to arrange a clinic appointment. 

We will make contact with you as soon as possible 

If we had to postpone your treatment and you do not receive a call from us straight away, please do not worry, we will contact you as soon as we can provide a clear update on restarting your treatment.

Please continue to be patient with us, we will restart your treatment as soon as it is safe to do so and give you the best chance of making your treatment a success. It is important that we all work together to keep each other safe.

How we can support you if you are worried

We know that this will be a worrying time for many of you. Please be reassured that if you are anxious about restarting treatment and wish to consider waiting until you are ready then we will support you with this decision.

Please continue to contact our fertility counselling team if you need any further support on 0151 702 4075.

Who to contact with any further queries

We understand that many of you will be eager to receive more details and keen to start treatment as soon as possible. We will keep you updated regularly. As we re-commence our services from next week our phone lines will be extremely busy so we would ask for your patience so our teams can speak to as many patients as possible.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding

Everyone at the Hewitt Fertility Centre is extremely happy to be able to resume treating our patients. We know the last few weeks have been difficult and we would like to say thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you all back at the Hewitt Fertility Centre.

With best wishes,

Rachel Gregoire

Scientific Director & HFEA Person Responsible

Hewitt Fertility Centres, Liverpool and Knutsford

 

Update to Patients - 12 May 2020

Following the recent announcements from the HFEA we have today (12th May) submitted our application to the HFEA for approval to restart fertility treatments. We hope to resume some services from Monday 18th May 2020. We now await the outcome of this and hope to make a positive announcement soon. In the meantime we ask that you please continue to be patient.

We will be making direct contact with some patients who we will be expecting to see as a priority to provide them with an update on when their treatment could potentially resume, this will include those who had already started their treatment but it had to be postponed due to the closure.  If we had to postpone your treatment and you do not receive a call from us straight away, please do not worry, we will contact you as soon as we can provide a clear update on restarting your treatment.

For those waiting to start a new treatment with us, we will provide an update via the website on when your new treatment can start when we receive the outcome of our application from the HFEA.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued patience, understanding and support during this difficult time. Please continue to contact our fertility counselling team if you need any further support on 0151 702 4075, online counselling is also available.

Update to Patients - 04 May 2020

On 23rd March 2020 our regulators the HFEA who give us a licence to be able to perform fertility treatments, instructed us to stop fertility treatments until further notice. On Friday 1st May the HFEA updated their advice and have told us that from Monday 11th May we can apply to re-open.

To apply to re-open we have to put together a safety strategy that provides the HFEA with evidence to show that we can operate safely, and provide fertility treatments while keeping our patients and our staff safe. We can send our strategy to the HFEA on or after Monday 11th May but we then need to wait and hear back from the HFEA to confirm we can re-open before we can start any treatments.

Our strategy will include how many fertility treatments we can perform at one time, while keeping with social distancing measures. This may mean that the number of patients we treat at one time may be limited to keep you safe.

Please be aware that we have a list of patients on a ‘holding list’ that sadly had to have their treatments cancelled when we stopped performing fertility treatments in March 2020. We will want to consider some or all of these patients as a priority to be treated first. We also need to consider those patients of advanced maternal age and if they may also need to take priority.

Please bear with us while we put our strategy together and while we wait for the HFEA to confirm that we can re-open. We appreciate that although this is fantastic news, the wait for your treatment has been difficult and a further wait may become frustrating.

If we had to postpone your treatment due to our closure, we will contact you directly when we are able to start your treatment safely.

If you have a new enquiry for starting a new NHS cycle we will have had a referral for you and you will be invited for a clinic appointment when we can start your treatment. We may contact you via phone or by letter.

If you have a new enquiry for starting a new private cycle, please contact our Private Patient Navigators and they will invite you for a clinic appointment when it is safe to do so. We may contact you via phone or by letter.

Please note that we are currently unable to give a specific date as to when fertility treatments will resume. This is likely to be announced at some point after Monday 11th May 2020. When we have this information we will update our website immediately with full details of timescales and treatment types that can resume. We will also make contact with relevant patients who will be seen as a priority due to clinical criteria. 

Update to Patients - 01 May 2020 

The HFEA have published an update on potential timescales for resuming fertility treatments. Please visit the HFEA website for full details.
Please be reassured we will keep you updated with more details as they become available. 

Update to Patients - 29 April 2020

The HFEA have recently published a list of frequently asked questions to help you further. Please visit the HFEA website to view the FAQ's here

The Hewitt Fertility Centre specialist fertility nurses are available to answer any further questions you may have regarding your treatment on 0151 702 4123.

Please be reassured that the Hewitt Fertility Centre team are working closely with the HFEA to plan for your future fertility treatment to start as soon as it is safe to do so.

Our priority is to keep you, your potential pregnancy, and our staff safe, whilst continuing to provide you with the best care and chance of having a baby.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, please continue to contact our fertility counselling team if you need any further support on 0151 702 4075.

Update to Patients - 06 April 2020

Following our decision on 17th March 2020 to pause fertility treatments during the COVID-19 epidemic, we want to express our gratitude to all our patients for their on-going patience, support and best wishes.

Fertility treatments at the Hewitt Fertility Centre remain on pause until further notice, including diagnostic tests and clinic appointments for new treatments.

Virtual clinic appointments for follow up consultations with our specialist medical team continue.

We are continuing to offer fertility preservation for those in urgent need before starting radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the face of cancer or a serious systemic disease.

Please be reassured that our senior management team are, on a daily basis, monitoring the coronavirus situation. We will continue to review the treatments available to you as we learn more. All those who have had their treatment paused or have been unable to start their treatment, have been placed on a holding list and will be contacted by the Hewitt Fertility Centre as soon as we can restart your treatment.

Please continue to check our website for more information. We hope the frequently asked questions provide reassurance for you. Please continue to contact us and ask us questions and we will update the website information regularly to keep you informed.

Best wishes and stay safe,

Rachel Gregoire

Thank you to our Patients

Following the release of the statement below, we want to thank our patients for all your support and kind words in the last few days. We have been overwhelmed with your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

Please click on the link here for further information and guidance that we hope will provide you with further reassurance regarding our decision.

The Hewitt Fertility Centre senior management team are, on a daily basis, monitoring the coronavirus situation. We will continue to review the treatments available to you as we learn more.

We are aware that you have raised some questions that need further clarity. We hope the frequently asked questions below provide reassurance for you. Please continue to contact us and ask us questions and we will update the information regularly to keep you informed.   

Announcement to patients - 17 March 2020

The Hewitt Fertility Centres Liverpool and Knutsford made the very difficult decision on 17 March 2020 to put some fertility treatments on hold due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

New cycles of treatment will be put on hold, and we will endeavour to continue treatment for those patients who have already started their stimulation.

We have also made the decision to stop all embryo transfers due to the recent government guidelines on the vulnerability in pregnancy.

We will be in contact with all Hewitt Fertility Centre patients currently in treatment and those about to start treatment, to provide guidance and reassurance regarding next steps. We will also publish answers to some frequently asked questions to keep you informed about your treatment, including questions about funding, re-starting treatment, and also guidance for those who have had recent treatment. We understand you will have many questions due to this decision but please bear with us while we put these together. We will also update the FAQs regularly to address any additional questions you may have as this situation evolves over the coming weeks and months.

We apologise for any anxiety and stress this decision may cause. We have not made this decision lightly, but our priority must be your safety and support.

We urge all of our patients past and future to stay safe and remain in touch as the situation changes. 

If you have been affected by this we would encourage you to speak with a member of our counselling team, you can email them at hewittcounsellingservices@lwh.nhs.uk to arrange either telephone counselling or online/virtual counselling.

Please note, if you need to contact The Hewitt Fertility Centre you can do so during the following days and times (excluding bank holidays):

  • Liverpool: Monday-Friday 8:00-16:45
  • Knutsford: Monday-Friday 8:00-16:30

If an emergency during evenings and weekends please call 0151 702 4140 (Emergency Department triage line) or call 0151 708 9988 (ask for Emergency Department). Please only use the emergency contact if you are currently undergoing fertility preservation treatment with us and have an urgent query; or if you feel unwell following your recent fertility treatment.  

The Hewitt Fertility Centre team want to thank you all for your continued support, patience and understanding at this very difficult time.

With best wishes,

Rachel Gregoire

HFEA Person Responsible

Hewitt Fertility Centres, Liverpool and Knutsford

Frequently Asked Questions 

Treatments 

  • I was thinking about starting fertility treatment but I am now not sure what to do?

    Please contact the Hewitt Fertility Centre and arrange a consultation with one of our fertility Consultants. We may be able to start your investigations and prepare you for starting your treatment with us. We will then place a hold on treatment to protect you and any potential pregnancy until the risk of coronavirus reduces.

    If you are urgently starting chemotherapy treatment, we will proceed with your treatment, with any suitable embryos frozen for future use.

  • Why are some patients starting treatment and not others?

    The Hewitt Fertility Centres treat fertility patients and those who are about to start urgent treatment for diseases such as cancer. These cancer treatments can have a significant negative impact on a person’s future fertility, and due to the urgency of cancer treatment, this cannot be postponed. We have therefore made the decision to continue treatment for these patients with any suitable eggs/embryos frozen for future use.

    If you are a fertility patient, the Hewitt Fertility Centre feels that postponing your treatment will have a minimal impact your future treatment outcome. The duration of the hold on your treatment, and the current guidelines on coronavirus (COVID-19) will be constantly reviewed to ensure this does not change.

  • My treatment has been cancelled. How long do I have to wait until I can restart my treatment?

    The full impact of COVID-19 is still unknown. At the moment we do not know the effect the virus could have during pregnancy, certainly in the first three months. Contracting an infection in early pregnancy can lead to problems for both mother and child. We will therefore closely monitor the evidence and new guidelines as they emerge, and we will adapt our practice accordingly. No one can confirm when the risk of the coronavirus will reduce, or when there will be evidence to show no effect in pregnancy. Until then the Hewitt Fertility Centre needs to continue to place a hold on treatment to protect you and any potential pregnancy.

  • My treatment was cancelled and I have left over medication. What do I do with it?

    Please continue to store your medication following the instructions for storage. Please note the expiry of the medication. If we cannot resume your treatment before the medication expires, then you can take it to your local pharmacy for disposal.

  • Why were some treatments cancelled and others continued?

    If you were over Day 3 of ovarian stimulation on 17.03.20, we continued with your treatment. This was due to the potential risk of cancelling treatment when your ovaries were already stimulated. We may have already, or may be due to collect your eggs in the next 7 days. Any suitable embryos will be frozen for future use.

    Anyone who had yet to start ovarian stimulation or was on Day 2 of ovarian stimulation, we made the decision to cancel your treatment due to the unnecessary risk of non-essential contact and the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

    All embryo transfers and frozen embryo transfer cycles were cancelled to protect you and any potential pregnancy.

  • What do I need to do if I have my egg collection scheduled?

    If you are due to have your egg collection with us in the next 5 days, you should shield yourself from others as much as possible until the day of egg collection. On the day of egg collection we will check your temperature and ask you questions regarding your health. Anyone showing symptoms of the coronavirus must contact the clinic from home. DO NOT ATTEND THE HEWITT FERTILITY CENTRE UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO A MEMBER OF OUR NURSING TEAM.

  • If all my embryos are frozen and I don’t have a fresh embryo transfer, does this reduce my chance of having a baby in the future?

    No. Frozen embryos have the same chance of success as fresh embryos; in fact some treatments using frozen embryos can actually increase your chance of success to more than if the embryo was transferred during the fresh cycle.

  • What happens if none of my embryos are suitable for freezing?

    We have strict criteria for the quality of embryos frozen. If we feel embryos have a reduced chance of achieving a pregnancy we will continue to freeze the embryos but explain to you the reduced chance of success. If your embryos have an extremely low/no chance of achieving a pregnancy we will contact you to explain that the embryos cannot be frozen. You will then be offered a follow-up appointment to discuss next steps. We will also offer you an appointment with our counselling team.

  • I am thinking of becoming a sperm donor. What should I do?

    Please complete our online form and we can assess your suitability for becoming a sperm donor. We will put your donation on hold until we have guidance to suggest there is no risk of coronavirus transmission when using your donated sperm samples for treatment purposes.

  • I am thinking of becoming an egg donor. What should I do?

    Please complete our online form and we can assess your suitability for becoming an egg donor. We will put your donation on hold until we have guidance to suggest there is no risk of coronavirus transmission when using your donated eggs for treatment purposes.

  • My semen analysis appointment has been cancelled. What do I do now?

    We may have had to cancel or reschedule your semen analysis appointment to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus to other patients within Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Southport and Ormskirk District General Hospital and Mid Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital (Leighton). The Andrology team will be in touch to re-schedule this appointment. If you wish to speak with the Andrology team you can contact them at lwft.andrologylab@nhs.net

  • I want to transfer my sperm/donor sperm/eggs/embryos into the Hewitt Fertility Centre so that I am ready to start my treatment when it becomes available again. Can this still happen?

    We are not currently organising shipment or transfer of samples between UK clinics or internationally. However the transfer of samples between clinics and donor banks can take some time to coordinate, therefore our transfer teams are happy to arrange the exchange of all necessary paperwork in preparation for the movement of your samples. We can communicate with the clinic you wish to transfer samples from and have everything in place ready to move the samples to the Hewitt Fertility Centre when we can.

    If you wish to discuss the movement of donor sperm or your own sperm into the Hewitt Fertility Centre, please contact the andrology team on lwft.andrologylab@nhs.net

    If you wish to discuss the movement of eggs or embryos into the Hewitt Fertility Centre, please contact the embryology transfer team on lwft.embryohfcliverpool@nhs.net 

Funding & Payments

 

Other Recent News