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) and 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.
If you are a self-fund patient
We can now confirm that the BCRM self-funding service will continue to provide fertility treatments in its current setting. From the beginning of March 2018, Mr Akande, who has been lead clinician and specialty director of Fertility services at BCRM since 2011, will take over the running of the Centre as a new private operation, together with his business partner Paul Wilson, also currently with BCRM as Head of Embryology.
It is expected that most of the existing staff at the centre will transfer across to the new company. The service will continue to be known as the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine, BCRM. More information about Mr Akande and Mr Wilson can be found on their current company’s website www.fertilitybristol.com
Services will include semen analysis, IVF, ICSI and IUI, to all patients who wish to self-fund their treatment and store embryos and gametes until further notice.
Patients with gametes and embryos currently in self-funded storage at the Centre should expect those to remain safe and secure in their current location. Patients will be notified of any change in management of these samples and their consent sought as per HFEA regulation.
Open evenings for patients interested in learning more about fertility services at BCRM including IVF and treatment using donor gametes will continue in February.
If you are an NHS patient
NHS fertility treatment is funded by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. From 1 December 2017, North Bristol NHS Trust will no longer hold a contract to provide NHS funded Assisted Conception Treatment that includes IUI, IVF and ICSI but will still provide other fertility related assessment and non-licenced treatments.
NHS patients currently in treatment (IUI/IVF and ICSI)
If you are an NHS patient currently having treatment, you will proceed at BCRM if you received a confirmed start date before 3 December 2017 for a cycle of treatment. BCRM will continue to provide your care until mid-February, such as undertaking pregnancy scans or follow up. You will not need to attend another fertility clinic if your treatment cycle has already started at BCRM.
If you are an NHS patient currently in treatment planning, and will not have not started medication that will allow us to collect your eggs by 19 January 2017, you will be added to a transfer waiting list and referred to the CCG who will contact you to offer a choice of providers for your NHS funded treatment. Once a choice of provider is made, the CGG will work with that fertility clinic to ensure a smooth transfer of your care as an NHS patient.
New NHS patients
As of the 1 December 2017, North Bristol NHS Trust will no longer hold an NHS contract to provide NHS patients with assisted conception treatment such as IVF and as such will be unable to take on any new NHS patients for treatment. For further information on arrangements for NHS IVF funded services please visit https://www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/health-services/services-development/licensed-fertility-assisted-conception-services-nhs-patients/
NHS fertility assessment
North Bristol NHS Trust will continue to provide fertility assessment and provide non licensed treatments at Southmead Fertility Clinic located in the BCRM building. This means that all NHS patients who have fertility problems and meet the eligibility criteria will continue to be seen at Southmead Hospital.
Patients (women and men) can continue to have assessments, tests and advice on their best treatment options such as ovulation induction, fertility surgery and undertake complex tests such as genetic, hormone analysis, laparoscopy, tubal tests and MRI scans where appropriate.
Frozen embryo storage and treatment
North Bristol NHS Trust will continue to provide the ongoing storage of gametes and embryos currently stored at BCRM for NHS patients.
If you have any embryos, eggs or sperm stored at BCRM, there should be no concerns as they will remain safe and secure at North Bristol NHS Trust. There is no need to transfer your samples to another centre. The samples remain your property and cannot be lawfully moved or discarded without your consent, unless the storage time has expired or the criteria for continued storage of your samples have not been met. If there are any changes to the management of your samples, in line with HFEA regulations you will be notified and your consent would need to be sought.
If you have embryos stored at BCRM and are eligible for a frozen embryo transfer (FET) following an NHS funded cycle of treatment at BCRM, you will be able to have this treatment at BCRM within designated NHS funded storage period of up to 12 months.