Covid-19/Coronavirus and IVF Treatment Update 05.01.2021
Hull & East Riding Fertility remains open for all treatments and services and we are continuing to accept new patients, both private and NHS funded throughout the national lockdown.
We are maintaining the new processes and procedures put in place following the reopening of the clinic in May (including testing). These processes are in place to minimise any risk of transmission or infection between both patients and staff. (See below for the changes we have made.)
Before reopening the clinic in May 2020, all of our processes and procedures were reviewed by the HFEA and deemed safe/suitable to reopen the clinic to patients.
We, along with all other clinics, take direction and advice from the HFEA and we are constantly reviewing and updating our processes as the situation evolves.
The HFEA/RCOG have stated that there is no evidence that coronavirus causes miscarriage or affects how a baby develops in pregnancy. There is also no evidence that a pregnant lady who develops coronavirus is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.
RCOG (Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists), have recently updated their advice relating to the COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding.
It is important that all patients continue to follow the Government guidelines.
Please do not attend the clinic if you have had a positive covid-19 test result, are awaiting a test result, are self-isolating or you have any of the below symptoms:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
The changes we have made in response to the pandemic:
All the changes needed to continue to give patients the best possible care and support during these difficult circumstances are in place. Below are a few of the changes we have made:
- Visits to the Unit – during this time we need to restrict the number people coming into the Unit. This is important to ensure we can see patients safely and follow the necessary Social Distancing guidance. Until further notice, all visits to the Unit must be carried out on an appointment basis.
- Online/Telephone Appointments – We are continuing to accept new referrals from both NHS and Private patients, consultations are now being carried out using Zoom video calls, or on the telephone. This enables both the patient and their partner to join a call without the need to attend the clinic. Where possible, throughout a treatment cycle, appointments are carried out remotely, this includes consents appointments which are now completed using a secure online platform.
- Attending Appointments – Although it’s understandable that patients want to attend appointments with a partner or close family member, to minimise the risk to both patients and staff during this time, only the patient should attend their appointment. Until further notice, partners will not be able to join the patient for any appointment, including Ovum Retrieval and Embryo Transfers. We hope to reassess this in the future. This is an important change to reduce the number of people in the Unit at any one time.
- Arrival at the Unit – To ensure that we reduce the number of patients in our reception area, we are asking that all patients attending an appointment at the Unit to call us on arrival. We will then let patients know if it is safe to enter the Unit or wait until other patients have left the reception area.
- Clinic Layout – We have carried out extensive risk assessments of all clinical and administrative areas to ensure that social distancing can be maintained.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – We have access to all necessary PPE equipment and have no shortage of supply. We will continue to ensure that we comply with local and national guidance for use of PPE.
- Hand Wash and Sanitiser – These are available at various points throughout the Unit and the main hospital building.
- Patient Triage – We have introduced a patient triage process to ensure we do not put any patients or staff at unnecessary risk. One of our clinical team will go through this with you in detail before you restart/start a treatment cycle.
- Staff Training – Our team are fully trained on any changes to working practices and are all following strict protocols to ensure patient and staff safety.
- Counselling Appointments – We understand that your fertility journey can be an emotional time, particularly in the current climate. Although we cannot currently offer face to face counselling appointments, our counsellor, Jane, is continuing to offer support sessions by telephone, and online using Zoom.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated of any changes.
If you would like any further information or support please contact us, we are here to help you.
Page Last Modified: 4th May 2022