One baby a week is being born following IVF treatment at Bourn Hall’s Wickford Clinic.
The little clinic has just marked its 3rd birthday by announcing that it has achieved 120 pregnancies and that plans are progressing for its new building. Baby Jake Tompkins was one of the first 80 to be born.
The Wickford clinic is a little sister to Bourn Hall Clinic in Colchester and Fertility Nurse Specialist Grace Phiri explains that IVF treatment is intensive and the nursing team forms a close bond with the patients.
She says: “As a small team we see the patients on a regular basis which makes the work rewarding.
“Naturally a woman will produce one mature egg a month. With IVF treatment you need to stimulate the ovaries so they produce more eggs at one time that can be collected and fertilised to create embryos. This process needs careful regulation of the stimulation drugs and regular scans to check on progress. This requires many, short appointments so we get to know the patients really well,.
“I think for many people we are the only people that know they are having treatment.”
Patient Wayne Tompkins agrees: “With friends I never discussed any of the IVF process when we were going through it. It seemed to be difficult to bring up in conversation. I think it was hard enough going through it without having people knowing and asking how it was all going.”
Wayne and his wife Emma have been together since they were 17.
Wayne adds: “I have always wanted to be a dad, looking forward to when we had our own little family. So when we were told we had to go for fertility treatment it was a lot to take in. I was of course worried about what lay ahead for Emma and I, not really knowing what to expect. But once we had gone for our first consultation there seemed to be hope.”
The Wickford clinic was opened particularly to support patients in South West Essex based. They can have their consultations with a fertility specialist consultant, access to full time Fertility Nurse Specialists and appointments for blood tests and ultrasound scans locally at the satellite clinic and just go to Bourn Hall’s Colchester clinic for the egg collection and embryo transfer.
Wayne says: “All the way through the IVF treatment the staff at Bourn Hall were professional and friendly. They explained each stage of the process which helped ease my fears. I felt the best way to go through the process was to take each stage one at a time. I never wanted to look too far ahead in case things didn’t work out. I guess it was my way of coping.”
Emma agrees: “We took each step one at a time; never quite daring to believe that I might become pregnant.” Fortunately she did and Jake was born in November 2014.
Wayne adds; “I have waited a long time to become a dad, and now it has finally happened I couldn’t be happier. I love spending time all together as a family. I am looking to the future and all the adventures it will bring.”
Plans are being made for a new full service clinic in Wickford, which will be the only purpose built facility in South Essex to treat both NHS and self funded patients.
Nurse Phiri says: “We are really excited about the plans for the new clinic, which includes an embryology laboratory so we will be able to provide all the treatment for our fertility patients in one place.”
Design of the new clinic is based on nearly 40 years of experience in IVF and brp architects have been working closely with Bourn Hall to create a distinctive building with a welcoming interior that creates a sense of wellbeing and confidence alongside the highly specialised clinical treatment spaces.
Company director and project architect Alan Sankey enthused: “We have welcomed the opportunity and challenge of working alongside Bourn Hall and their development partners HPC, to create a first class facility. Wickford was earmarked as a natural location for expansion of Bourn Hall’s services, and although the chosen site has not been without it’s challenges, the finished building promises to be rewarding both architecturally and for all those who will use it.”
Bourn Hall Clinic is collaborating with a specialist provider of medical buildings – The Healthcare Property Company Limited (HPC) to oversee the development of the new facility and it will be issuing a tender shortly. It is planned that the new full service clinic will open in 2017.