COVID-19 Information

This webpage has been added to keep current, prospective and past patients up to date on the developments affecting our fertility service.

It goes without saying that anyone with symptoms of the virus or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of the virus should not attend the fertility unit for any reason.

For general information about Corona Virus please refer to the GOV.UK Website 

Unfortunately due to the Corona Virus pandemic all non-urgent fertility services will be postponed. Our staff are making every effort at this very busy time to contact patients individually to explain how this will affect them directly. We politely ask for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

This is because our staff are needed to be redeployed temporarily in other areas of the NHS to cover staff who are needed to self isolate and cope with the expected influx of patients. This is in line with guidance given in a joint statement by the British Fertility Service (BFS) and the Association of Reproductive Scientists (ARCS) on 16/3/20. Our regulatory, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority expect this guidance to be followed.

The joint statement can be found on the British Fertility Society Website, along with plenty of up to date, useful information for fertility patients.

The HFEA statement can be found on the HFEA Website.

Women who are currently pregnant may want to read the Royal College of Gynaecologists (RCOG) statement.

For further information on the local plans for the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre, what this might mean for you as an individual and contact details are below.

Unfortunately we do not know how long our service will be interrupted for. We would like to thank our patients in advance for their patience and understanding and we intend to post updates on this page when new information is available. We realise that any delay to treatment can be upsetting, support is available if you need it either from staff remaining at the unit or from the national charity Fertility Network UK.

Arrangements for Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre during Corona Virus Outbreak

The fertility service, along with others across the country, is suspended until further notice due to the corona virus outbreak. This will be reviewed regularly. This is to allow our staff to be redeployed into other key roles in our hospitals on a temporary basis. We will however continue to treat patients requiring fertility preservation for an urgent medical reason e.g. oncology patients and also a small number of others who our doctors feel could not wait. There will be a regular review to identify these patients. Please be assured that all patients who are in the system, whether recently referred, awaiting appointments or having been scheduled for treatment will have had their notes reviewed by the fertility team to identify if there is any reason why a delay in treatment would be detrimental to their chance of having a family.

Our staff are working very hard to contact all individuals affected by these changes to our service.

Patients currently undergoing active treatment

Patients who are currently taking stimulation drugs have the option of continuing their treatment and having any resulting embryos frozen for implantation at a later date or abandoning their treatment and restarting once we reopen.

Patients scheduled for treatment

Those patients who have been scheduled and have a date for egg collection or frozen transfer have had their case notes reviewed by a multidisciplinary team, only the most urgent cases will be treated. Others unfortunately will now be postponed until the service reopens. Our nurses are currently contacting these patients. Private or self funded patients who have paid for these treatments will have a credit put on their account for their next treatment. Drugs that you have already accepted delivery of would still have to be paid for but can be used in future treatment if stored correctly.

Patients on the waiting list

Those patients who are currently on our waiting list will remain on the list but treatment will be delayed. The list will be reviewed regularly to identify any patients that need to be prioritised for clinical reasons. We are working with the commissioners to get some reassurance that your eligibility for treatment will not be affected by this delay.

Outpatient Appointments

All medical, nursing and scientific outpatient appointments have been postponed. If it is possible to convert them into a telephone appointment this will be done, so long as there are staff available to make the call. Our administrators are currently contacting patients who are affected by this.

Counselling Appointments

Counselling appointments will continue to be available but all will be telephone appointments rather than face to face. If you would like a counselling appointment please call the unit on 01743 261202 option 2 so that we can put you in touch with Julie.

Previous patients

Patients who have been treated recently should continue to contact the department as normal eg to report pregnancy test results, arrange support or reassurance scans etc. If you have a medical emergency associated with your treatment and are unable to reach a fertility nurse please contact the Gynae ward. Contact details for this will have been given to you on the letter you had at egg collection. The Gynae number is for medical emergencies only, they will not be able to answer general fertility queries.

Telephone Queries

It is anticipated that the majority of the staff will be temporarily redeployed to other areas of our hospital trust but a small number will remain in the department Monday-Friday 9am-5pm for  queries, support and maintenance of our facility and service. Please call 01743 261202 and choose option 2 in the first instance. It may be necessary to leave a message, someone will call you back as soon as they possibly can.

Referrals

Any new patients being referred in by their GP will continue to have their case reviewed by a fertility doctor. Unless the case is deemed urgent the first appointment will not be booked until the service reopens. If we are closed for an extended period of time these letters will be reviewed to identify any clinical priorities.

Monthly Fertility Network UK Support Group

This is cancelled until further notice. Support is available from the charity in the way of individual calls, online support forums and information. Please see the Fertility Network UK.

Monthly Patient Open Evening

This is cancelled until further notice as we are unable to staff it. If you have particular queries please call 01743 261202 ex 2 or email shropshireivf@nhs.net Please do not include any clinical or personal information in an email as your personal email address may not be secure. If you think your query could wait until some kind of normality returns we would appreciate your patience.

Post Vasectomy Samples

During the coronavirus crisis we are operating with vastly reduced staff numbers and are unable to continue to receive semen samples for post vasectomy analysis. Please do not bring a post vasectomy sample to us, leave one at the hospital or your GP practice for transporting to us as we are very unlikely to be able to analyse it. Unfortunately we do not have a date when we are able to restart this service but it is likely to be several months. We will post a message here once we are able to offer this facility once again, please check back on a monthly basis. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.