Couples facing longer wait for IVF treatment at Bournemouth hospital clinic

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

WOULD-BE parents who had their IVF treatment cancelled abruptly may have to wait another six weeks for fresh consultations.

Around 200 couples are thought to have had their appointments at Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s infertility clinic axed at the end of February after bosses announced a review into waiting lists.

Although some people already in the system are being seen under alternative arrangements, the future of the service at the hospital is still unclear.

It was suspended while an internal review into whether people on the lists still met criteria for NHS treatment was performed and that will now be followed by an external report from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

At a board meeting of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust yesterday (FRI), chief operating officer Helen Lingham said representatives from the Royal College visited the hospital on Monday and Tuesday and their report was due within six weeks.

A joint statement issued after the meeting from the Foundation Trust and NHS Bournemouth and Poole said: “We know this has been an anxious time for couples while we have reviewed the fertility services.

“We have done everything we can to ensure it has been progressed as quickly as possible. We have kept couples informed of the process and all couples were written to in April with an update on their individual circumstances.

“We are working together to discuss the future of fertility services at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Until this is resolved, alternative arrangements are in place for new couples who are referred for fertility treatment.

“Couples currently being seen at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital are those waiting for investigation results or who are on medication to support their fertility treatment.”

One couple who originally had an appointment in February have now been given a new date of Wednesday.

One of them said: “We’ve had to wait three months for an initial appointment and I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a phone call cancelling it.”

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