Chair of the HFEA, Sally Cheshire, pens a second open letter to fertility patients advising that clinics can reopen

As of 11 May, the UK’s HFEA advised that fertility clinics across the UK could reopen

Fertility patients across the UK received good news on 11 May when the HFEA released a letter advising that clinics across the country can now reopen. This news was received with open arms by all those waiting to find out when they can resume their path to parenthood.

If you have been experiencing uncertainty and stress about your postponed infertility treatments, you are not alone

People across the world are suffering with the anxiety and depression that often accompanies infertility, made worse by not knowing when their treatments can continue.

Hopefully your treatments will now be able to resume, do contact your clinic for the latest updates.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the governing body that regulates all fertility treatments in the UK. Head of the HFEA, Sally Cheshire, first wrote an open letter to fertility patients on 23 March. Since that time, many things have changed, and so she wanted to reach out again and update everyone.

She reiterates that she understands that suspending treatments as of 15 April was very stressful for all patients, and reveals that it was the most difficult decision the HFEA has had to make in the past 30 years. At this time, they advised all fertility clinics to stay in touch with patients throughout the lockdown.

Most excitingly and importantly for our readers, Sally Cheshire’s letter stated that fertility clinics could reopen as of Monday, 11 May

That said, not all clinics will be able to accommodate patients immediately, as they work to clear their backlog and meet all of the requirements laid out by the HFEA.

If your clinic has not yet reopened, get in touch and find out how they plan to implement their reopening

Cheshire’s letter states, “All clinics will have to provide the HFEA with a detailed assessment of how they will ensure safe services will operate and, once approved by us, they will be able to open again.”

She states that clinics must use the right PPE, stagger appointments, and implement social distancing policies in order to stay safe

This means that you might meet with your doctor and fertility clinic admin via video conference when appropriate and possible.

The letter continues, “We know there will be some patients who are concerned about waiting lists and if their treatment will pick up where it left off. A commitment to do this has been made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and, whilst we have no direct powers over funding decisions, we hope Clinical Commissioning Groups (who make the decisions about patient funding in England) do the same.”

The HFEA has made a commitment to continue to monitor the situation and will update their guidance as time passes and more information comes to light

Cheshire advises all fertility patients to stay in close contact with their clinic, and continue to check the HFEA website to up to date on advice. She ends her letter by telling everyone to stay safe and wishing them well.

Has your clinic been in touch, and have your treatments been rescheduled? Click here to view the clinics that the HFEA have authorised to resume treatment 

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