Safe and successful
“Personalised treatment is very important at Bourn Hall so we have reviewed the way we work to ensure the safety of all,” says Laura Carter-Penman, Regional Lead Nurse at Bourn Hall who features in the video ( right). “Although government guidelines may change as winter approaches, we are confident that the measures we have taken to minimise risk will enable us to deliver outstanding fertility care to our patients.”
Facemasks and PPE are the most obvious signs of the ‘new normal’ along with social distancing and a new policy where partners have to wait in the car for some procedures, however, Laura comments that patients and staff are responding well and taking the additional safety checks and changes to procedures in good spirit.
Adapting to the new normal
As we adapt to living with COVID-19, Bourn Hall has introduced a range of measures.
Laura continues: “It was with reluctance that we suspended the phone lines as we concentrated on treating patients whose treatment had been suspended. These phone lines are now coming back online for limited periods, but until they are fully operational we encourage those starting treatment to check with their nursing team for contact details and for others to continue to reach us by email, or through the enquiry form in the first instance.
“We apologise for any delays and reassure everyone that they will be contacted if tests or treatment indicates urgency of action and offer additional appointments and scans as required.
“There are also some benefits to patients of the new ways of working. We have taken the opportunity to rethink the patient journey to reduce the number of appointments. We now use email, phone calls and virtual consultations to enable patients to get support without visiting the clinic. For example, the consents that are needed at each stage of treatment are also now online, which speeds things up.”
Laura continues: “The new virtual consultation service with a doctor have proved popular as this reduces travelling times. For those earlier in their journeys we are offering free online consultations with a fertility nurse specialist to discuss fertility options and testing and Virtual Open House Events for those who know they need IVF
“For those starting treatment, we have found using drug teach videos to explain how to take the medication to be very effective; people concerned about administering their injections can watch these at their own pace and repeat them if they need to.”
Calm, welcoming and secure
Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, Bourn Hall’s Medical Director, says that patients find it reassuring that the clinics are dedicated fertility centres and not located in large hospital settings.
“As we specialise in fertility treatment, the people we see are generally in good health,” he says. “There are also fewer people on site and no visitors – all of this enables effective management.”
Bourn Hall has three full service clinics in the East of England at Cambridge, Norwich and Wickford, all of which have re-opened and offer a full range of fertility treatment and testing.
Each clinic has ample parking space for visitors and a one-way system has been introduced through the buildings with hand hygiene stations throughout.
Patients will be sent a COVID-19 swab test before attending the clinic. This will be posted to you in advance and will have full instructions of how and when to complete the test and post through the Royal Mail in the box and packaging provided. We will notify you of your result ahead of your appointment. More information is available in our frequently asked questions.
Full range of fertility treatments and testing available
The clinics are now able to offer fertility-testing services for both NHS and self-funded patients and this will further minimise the need for fertility patients to visit hospitals and other healthcare settings. Bourn Hall has seen an increase in demand for fertility testing and has focussed more resources to this service so that results and diagnosis are received promptly.
Dr Papathanasiou continues: “The clinics are now offering the full range of fertility treatments, for example egg sharing and egg banking has restarted and specialist treatments such as surgical sperm retrieval are also available.”
The safety measures being introduced to keep all patients and staff as safe as possible are as follows:
- Our staff will wear appropriate PPE whilst working in our clinics
- Measures are in place to reduce footfall in our clinics by limiting the amount of patients attending the clinic at any one time and reducing the number of visits to the clinic
- Hand hygiene stations and Covid-19 safety signs have been installed in all our clinics
- Information will be provided to patients and staff about social distancing and hygiene measures
- Patients will be required to complete self assessment and health declaration questionnaires prior to starting their treatment
- Patients will be required to take a Covid-19 test prior to their treatment. Further information about when to take your test can be found in our FAQs here
- Patients are required to wear a mask when inside the clinic. These will be provided upon arrival
- Only the patient receiving treatment will be permitted to enter the clinic. We would politely ask that partners or family members who accompany you wait in the car park
Thank you for your understanding and your patience during this challenging time. We will continue to support you and update you as we move forwards in this journey together.
If you would like to start your fertility journey with Bourn Hall then do leave a message on the enquiry form below and we will be in touch to arrange a consultation.