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Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

News

2020 News

COVID19 Update 29th Jun

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience during such difficult circumstances and while awaiting the gradual re-introduction of fertility services. We are delighted that we have been able resume frozen embryo transfers for patients who were unable to proceed with a fresh transfer and those who had their frozen embryo transfers cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We are now ready to expand treatment for any patients with frozen embryos and invite patients who wish to initiate a cycle of treatment to contact us from the 6th of July. Please remember that in order to provide treatment that is safe for patients and staff and to allow physical distancing, we are running at a reduced capacity. While we will endeavour to provide your treatment as soon as possible, we may not be able to accommodate patients with their subsequent cycle and there may be a wait for treatment.

We are also ready to begin arranging treatment for patients who had a fresh cycle of IVF or ICSI booked and had their treatment paused before egg collection. We will start contacting these patients from Tuesday the 30th of June and where appropriate, make a plan for treatment. If you do not receive a call from us straight away, please do not worry, we will contact you as soon as we can.
      
Patients who wish to book a cycle of unstimulated IUI can book treatment from the 13th of July. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to resume IUI treatments that require ovulation induction with gonadotrophin  injections. As soon as we are able to offer this treatment, we will update our website to advise.

Please remember that in order to provide treatment that is safe for patients and staff and to allow physical distancing, we are running at a reduced capacity. While we will endeavour to provide your treatment as soon as possible, we may not be able to accommodate patients with their subsequent cycle and there may be a wait for treatment.

We recognise and understand that the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the deferral of treatment is a very difficult and unsettling time for you. You may feel a sense of loss at not being able to proceed with your treatment at this time, feelings of being alone and uncertain about the future. We therefore, wish to continue to prioritise and support you at this time by offering video conferencing and telephone support with the fertility counsellors. 

In order to make a video conferencing or telephone appointment for counselling please contact us, copying us both into the email addresses detailed below. Please provide us with brief details about yourself along with your mobile number, so that we can call you to arrange a suitable appointment.
Fertility counsellors: lesley.miller@nhs.net and alison.elliot1@nhs.net

COVID19 Update 22nd May

Glasgow Royal Infirmary Assisted Conception Service has been permitted by the HFEA to restart treatment.

We are delighted to be able to confirm that Glasgow Royal Infirmary ACS has been given permission by the HFEA to recommence fertility treatments. We are aware many of our patients are keen to commence their treatment and have already been in touch to find out when they can start.
To provide safe and effective treatments in combination with minimising patient and staff risk of Covid 19 we have introduced many changes to our environment and ways of working.
We understand patients are very keen to have specific dates for starting treatment cycles however we need to put processes in place to keep everyone safe.  While we will do all we can to begin your treatment as promptly as possible, the restrictions under which all fertility clinics are now operating mean we will have to monitor the number of cycles carefully which will reduce capacity at this time.
We plan to start treatment with frozen embryo transfers, firstly prioritising patients who were unable to have a fresh embryo transfer and secondly those patients who had a frozen embryo cycle cancelled. We will start contacting these patients from Tuesday 26th of May and where appropriate, make a treatment plan. The next group of patient to be contacted will be those who had a fresh cycle of IVF or ICSI treatment booked and had their treatment paused before egg collection.

We will make contact with you as soon as possible 

If we had to postpone your treatment and you do not receive a call from us straight away, please do not worry, we will contact you as soon as we can.
As we re-commence our services from next week our phone lines will be extremely busy so we would ask for your patience so our teams can speak to as many patients as possible.
We have been working closely with Fertility Network Scotland who you can contact for support, advice or further information.  Telephone: 01294 279162  Mobile: 07411752688
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding

COVID19 Update 15th May

We understand this has been a challenging and distressing time for our patients and would like to reassure you that the clinic is working to ensure all the necessary protocols and procedures are in place to resume services as soon as possible.  

On Monday 18th May 2020 we will submit our application to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) to restart our services.  Following approval from the HFEA clinic staff will begin to contact patients.  Please be assured we will be in touch as soon as possible.

COVID19 Update 6th May
UPDATE
Following the HFEA announcement that IVF clinics can apply to reopen from week commencing 11th May and we would like to update our patients on our current position.
To enable us, and all UK clinics, to satisfy the HFEA criteria for safe opening, we must review and revise our current procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection while ensuring the safety of our patients and staff. We are working hard with the Scottish Government and local NHS Health Board to have detailed plans in place for resuming treatment as safely and as timely as we possibly can.    
We appreciate that all patients are very keen to restart their treatment and that this wait is very difficult for you. If we had to postpone your treatment due to the COVID-19 closure, we will contact you directly as soon as we can to provide a timeline and treatment plan.
Please note: currently, we are unable to provide specific dates and timescales for resuming fertility treatments. When we have this information we will update our website immediately with further details.
Further information can be found on the HFEA website www.hfea.gov.uk

COVID19 Update 21Apr20
UPDATE

Many of the GRI ACS staff (Doctors, Nurses, Scientific Staff & Admin) have been redeployed within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde to support critical areas during this COVID19 pandemic.
However there is a small number of core staff available to answer queries, please contact us on 0141 211 5673 if required. Due to the lower level of staff on hand please leave a message with your details and we will contact you as soon as we can.
In light of the dynamic and changing nature of the situation and the guidance from government, unfortunately, we are unable to provide details or dates as to when we will be able to restart treatment cycles. There may be further changes to our service provision and if so we will let you know about these as soon as possible. 
We are closely monitoring the situation, taking guidance and working together with the HFEA, BFS (British Fertility Society) and ARCS (Association of Reproduction Clinical Scientists) to enable us to provide treatment as soon as it is safe to do so.
A core team of staff within the unit are currently working to ensure the clinic will be ready to reopen and offer treatment as soon we are permitted.
We recognise and understand that the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the deferral of treatment is a very difficult and unsettling time for you. You may feel a sense of loss at not being able to proceed with your treatment at this time, feelings of being alone and uncertain about the future. We therefore, wish to continue to prioritise and support you at this time by offering video conferencing and telephone support. 

In order to make a video conferencing or telephone appointment please contact us, copying us both into the email addresses detailed below. Please provide us with brief details about yourself along with your mobile number, so that we can call you to arrange a suitable appointment.
lesley.miller@nhs.net and alison.elliot1@nhs.net

COVID19

Unfortunately due to the current COVID19 pandemic we have taken the difficult decision to stop assisted conception treatment with immediate effect at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Guidance has been taken from NHS GGC Scotland, Scottish Government & European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) to postpone treatment and ensure patient safety.

Those due to have treatment at our unit will be personally contacted by telephone and advised next steps, due to the high volumes of calls this may take some time, please accept our apologies.

Updates regarding resumption of the ACS services will be published on the website or you may receive a telephone call in due course.

Please be aware waiting lists positions will not be affected and all patients will resume treatment from the point of cancellation.

Please be aware that it is likely we will not be fully staffed at all times and may be deployed to other critical areas within the NHS due to resourcing pressures.

If you need to speak to a member of staff please call 0141 211 5673 and leave a voicemail, we will contact you as soon as possible.

Please do not attend unless you have been asked to or an appointment has been pre-arranged and we ask you attend alone.

 

For support throughout this period please access ACS counselling service who have moved to using video conferencing and telephone support or use services offered by Fertility Network at www.fertilitynetworkuk.org

Our Counsellors

Lesley Miller Fertility Counsellor

Email: lesley.miller@nhs.net

Admin Team 0141 211 4478

As per Public Health Guidelines please self isolate for 7 days:

    • if you have an acute respiratory infection (with at least one of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath);
    • or you have been in the previous 14 days in a country with community transmission of the virus according to the CDC;
    • or you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19;
    • or you have been in a  hospital where COVID19 patients are hospitalized,If you have symptoms of COVID-19Phone your GP or NHS 24 (111) if your symptoms:
    • If you've developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild.
    • YOU SHOULD NOT COME TO THE ANY APPOINTMENTS IN A CLINICAL SETTING
    • are severe or you have shortness of breath
    • worsen during home isolation
    • have not improved after 7 days
    • You should also phone your GP or NHS 24 (111) if you develop breathlessness or it worsens, especially if you:
    • are 60 years old or over
    • have underlying poor health
    • have heart or lung problems
    • have a weakened immune system, including cancer
    • have diabetes
    • If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.

Brexit

The clinic is working with the HFEA to plan for Brexit.  These plans are updated as new information comes to light.

Please also find below link to NHSGGC Patient information related to Brexit.

https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/patients-and-visitors/eu-exit-brexit-what-you-need-to-know/


2017 News

Technology and Innovation
GRI ACS is looking forward to introducing further new innovative equipment into the ACS laboratories in July 2017.

Additional investment from NHSGGC and the Scottish Government continues to enable the ACS laboratories to remain at the forefront of new technology, ensuring that only state of the art equipment is used for patient treatment.  

To enable introduction of this new equipment, we have planned a routine laboratory closure for three weeks between Wednesday 5th – Friday 21st July to allow the new equipment to be installed and tested.  Existing equipment will also undertake  mandatory annually servicing during this essential shutdown period.

We look forward to continuing to further improve the service we provide. 


Patient Experience Survey Report
In May 2017, we invited 70 patients approaching the end of their fertility treatment to participate in an experience survey to evaluate the standard of service they received during their treatment with us.

We had a 100% response rate with 94.2% of respondents reporting that they’d had a positive experience during their treatment at Glasgow Royal Infirmary ACS. Whilst this overwhelmingly positive response is very encouraging, we are constantly striving to make further improvements to the service we provide, and therefore all feedback has been noted to allow us to develop our service further. 

Please take a moment to look at the ‘Patient Feedback’ display in the ACS waiting room to see areas of your treatment where we aim to deliver further improvement and some positive feedback from patients that have already received treatment with us.    


Poster Winner 2017
The ACS is proud to announce that one of our Embryologists [Catherine Beaton] won the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) Pre-registrant Poster prize at the Fertility 2017 conference held in Edinburgh in January. The poster was entitled “Pregnancy outcomes following fresh or vitrified embryo transfer of non-top quality embryos. Should we change what we freeze?”

The prize is paid registration to the Fertility 2018 conference which will be held in Liverpool.

Well done Cathy! Another proud moment for the ACS scientific team.


New consultant gynaecologist
The ACS is delighted to announce the appointment of our new consultant gynaecologist, Claire Banks. Claire trained at Glasgow University and worked as a consultant within Clyde. Claire will start her post here at the ACS in January 2017.


Waiting list targets
The ACS is pleased to inform couples who are being referred from their GP that the current average waiting time from GP referral to the first ART clinic appointment at the ACS is 6-7 months.

clocks2.jpg


Poster abstracts
The ACS is proud to announce that four poster abstracts, submitted by the scientific staff, have successfully been accepted for the Fertility 2017 conference, to be held in Edinburgh in January 2017.

  • Determining a sample size for storage tank audit – Daniel M Collins
  • Pregnancy outcomes following fresh or vitrified embryo transfer of non-top quality embryos. Should we change what we freeze? – Catherine Beaton
  • Patient specific dissociation of zona pellucida observed in time-lapse culture – Susan A. Moran
  • The challenges with legal parenthood consent: Can we remove the risk? – Linsey White

2016 News

Counselling survey results
In July/August 2016 the ACS invited patients attending the counselling service to participate in a satisfaction survey. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of respondents reporting that they’d use the service again and 100% reporting that they’d recommend to others to use the service. Our counsellor Isobel O’Neill received extremely positive feedback, and she is now joined by our second counsellor Alison Elliot. In respect of this, waiting times for counselling appointments are now down to approximately two weeks.


Patient survey results
In June 2016, the ACS invited patients receiving embryo transfer to participate in a satisfaction survey. The response was good with over 90% of respondents reporting that they’d had a positive experience at the suite. Whilst the response was so encouraging, we are constantly striving for improvement and all comments have been noted for ongoing service development.


Poster winner 2016
The ACS is proud to announce that one of our Embryologists [George Hughes] won the Pre-registrant Poster prize at the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) conference held in Newcastle in January 2016. The poster entitled ‘Volatile organic compounds in CE marked consumables in a clinical IVF laboratory’ explored the levels of volatile compounds given off when opening laboratory plasticware and the implications for use in an assisted conception unit.] The prize was a paid registration to the Fertility 2017 conference, held in Edinburgh in January 2017.

2015 News

Facing the Future Together, Chairman’s Award winners 2015

In late 2015, a series of awards were made to departments across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, celebrating the dedication and success of the hard work of the staff. The ACS staff members were honoured as the winners in the ‘Our People’ category for the Acute Services, Women and Children’s. This award was made for teamwork and notably the successful achievement of the new waiting times targets throughout the relocation of clinical services back to the refurbished Royal Infirmary site.


Press Release October 2015
The refurbished Assisted Conception Service (ACS) is achieving its highest ever success rates since moving back to Glasgow Royal Infirmary a year ago.

The state-of-the-art facility treats patients from across the West of Scotland and beyond and is seeing a 54% positive pregnancy test rate for all fresh embryo transfers - the highest rate unit has ever recorded.

The service now offers seven day access which means all patients are offered individualised treatment which meets their own clinical need.

Patients also now benefit from the use of time-lapse technology which allows continuous assessment of their IVF embryos, whilst enabling them to remain undisturbed in optimal conditions in the incubator. This has the advantage of allowing embryos to develop in culture for longer and thereby improves the ability to select the best embryo for transfer with the highest chance of achieving a pregnancy.

Dr Helen Lyall, Lead Consultant, said: “I am delighted that the unit is seeing such an increase in success rates and we hope this continues to grow.

“One of the main benefits of the newly refurbished unit is that all functions are now located within the one area. Prior to the refurbishment, services were spread across the Glasgow Royal Infirmary site.

“The investment in the facility and state of the art equipment has increased capacity at this new facility and has also enabled us to treat patients within the 12 months target.”

Dr Helen Lyall and Isabel Traynor, Senior Charge Nurse, have made a massive contribution to the National Infertility Group established by Scottish Government Ministers in 2010.

Their input, along with that of the wider team of doctors, nurses, embryologists and administrative staff has been instrumental in achieving equity of access across Scotland for patients requiring assisted conception treatment.


July 2015
Dr Helen Lyall (Consultant) and Isabel Traynor (Senior Charge Nurse) from the Assisted Conception Unit were invited to attend the Queen's Garden Party at the Palace of Holyrood on Wednesday 1st July. This was in recognition of the work both have done for the Scottish Government as part of the National Infertility Group.

This work has been instrumental in achieving equity of access across Scotland for patients needing assisted conception treatment. This followed an exciting year for the assisted conception services in Glasgow with a new 'state of the art' facility in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, opened by the Minister for Health Shona Robison in February 2015.

The ACS laboratory had 2 additional EmbryoScopes installed in July which now means we have a total of 6 in place. This is the highest number of EmbryoScopes in any clinic in Scotland, reflecting the high number of patients we treat. We can now ensure that all patients have their embryos incubated in time-lapsed imaging systems. This helps us to select the best embryo to transfer and thereby give the highest chance of pregnancy.

We have also had approval for a new laser system to continue our improvements to our Pre Genetic Diagnostic service whereby genetic diseases can be screened for to ensure non- affected embryos are replaced and children are born healthy.