Changes to the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM)

Over the last eight years, thousands of babies have been born as a result of treatment at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM), this would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our staff as well as the support of patients.

Since BCRM joined North Bristol NHS Trust in 2008, there has been a reduction in the number of NHS patients receiving treatment with us, with more couples now self-funding their treatment.

We are proud of the service we’ve been providing, however, following a review last year, the Trust has decided to discontinue the provision of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licensed fertility services such as IVF from the end of November 2017. This decision has been made in order to focus on providing acute NHS services. We recognise that this decision could be upsetting for some of our patients and we will do everything we can to make the process of moving to a new provider as easy as possible.

We want to reassure you that the continuity of care for our patients is of the greatest importance to us.  As such, plans are in development to ensure that the transfer of care to a new provider or providers, happens as smoothly as possible. Patients currently having treatment or in treatment planning at BCRM will be able to complete their cycles and gametes and embryos currently in storage at the Centre will continue to be stored by a licensed regulated provider.

NHS funded general infertility services (including fertility assessment, investigations and surgery) will continue to be provided by the Trust and are unaffected by the changes.

It is our intention to keep patients informed of developments. 

If you have any queries please email BCRM@nbt.nhs.uk  or telephone 0117 4146888 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that this may not answer all the queries you may have at this time and as plans progress we aim to update these.

 

Why is BCRM stopping the provision of licensed services?

BCRM is a service of North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and following a strategic review in 2016, the Trust has decided to stop providing Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licensed fertility services from the end of November 2017 in order to focus on its core business of providing acute NHS services.

Who will deliver NHS licensed services in the future?

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is seeking to procure a new provider. The proposed location of NHS services will be taken into account when assessing bids by prospective providers as they do not want patients to travel any further than is necessary for treatment.

Their preference is for service provision within the commissioned area is noted in the service specification, which is available to view on the CCG websites. For further information please visit www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/current-engagements/recommissioning-specialist-fertility-services/

What will happen to the building?

The building is owned by North Bristol NHS Trust and options for future use are currently being considered.

Will my NHS funding be affected?

NHS funding for fertility services is commissioned by the CCG . For more information visit www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/current-engagements/nhs-service-proposals/fertility-treatment-eligibility

I am paying for my own fertility treatment what will happen to me after November?

If you are currently in treatment, this will continue as planned. If you are still in treatment on 30 November your care will transfer to a new HFEA licensed regulated service for completion.

I have samples stored at the Centre, what will happen to them?

The storage of frozen sperm, gametes and embryos will continue in a HFEA-licensed and regulated service by a qualified provider. You will be informed when a new provider has been appointed.

Will there be any changes to the delivery of my medication while I am currently in treatment?

This will continue to be delivered by Healthcare at Home.

What happens if I need a gynaecological procedure or imaging?

Infertility assessment and investigation services, including NHS imaging and gynaecological surgical procedures, will remain part of North Bristol NHS Trust and are unaffected by this change.

 

Is BCRM still accepting referrals?

BCRM will continue to accept referrals and treat patients until the end of November when any patients who are still in treatment will transfer to the new provider/s of NHS and/or self-funding service.

I am currently on a waiting list for donor eggs; what will happen?

The waiting list will transfer to the nominated new provider/s of treatment for both NHS and self-funding patients who remain untreated at the end of November at no detriment to your position on that list.

Does this mean my NHS funding for treatment will stop?

If you are currently funded for NHS fertility assessment and treatment that funding will continue. 

NHS funding for fertility services is commissioned by the CCG . For more information visit www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/current-engagements/nhs-service-proposals/fertility-treatment-eligibility

Does this mean my treatment will stop? I have recently been referred for treatment; will my treatment continue?

BCRM will continue to plan treatment, start treatment and continue treatment for all patients referred to BCRM until the end of November.

What happens if my treatment has not started or I am in treatment at the end of November?

Your referral and care will be transferred to the new licenced regulated provider/s with the minimum disruption possible.

I have stored embryos/blastocysts/sperm/eggs ; what will happen to them?

All stored samples remain safe and secure at BCRM. Patients will be informed of the identity of the licenced regulated provider who will continue to care for those samples after the end of November before any samples are transferred.

Can I have treatment with my stored samples before November?

Of course, please contact the administration call centre to request a return to treatment and review by your fertility specialist.

I’m on the waiting list for a gynaecology procedure: will I still be able to have treatment afterwards?

The NBT gynaecology service is unaffected by these changes and you will be having this procedure as part of your fertility assessment pathway. Assessment for infertility will remain as part of NBT and unaffected by this change. If after your procedure it is decided that you require fertility treatment before November you will have that treatment at BCRM and if you require fertility treatment after November you will be referred to the new CCG nominated NHS provider/s who will continue your care.