LONDON WOMEN’S CLINIC IS OPEN
Since re-opening after the lockdown closure last spring, the LWC has successfully offered all our treatment programmes in a Covid-secure environment and will continue to do so. We regularly review the measures we have in place to make sure they are aligned with the latest guidance from the HFEA, BFS and government guidelines.
As the government reduces restrictions designed to limit infection, it is important that we continue to operate safely. We ask that you assist us by following the steps outlined below. We appreciate your ongoing assistance to protect both patient and staff safety.(Updated 17th August)
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, almost all consultations have been carried out on-line or by telephone. The on-line alternative using Microsoft Teams (or the telephone) has proved effective and popular with many. Should you prefer, face-to face consultations are now also available across some of our clinics. If you would prefer this kind of appointment, we will do our best to accommodate you. Appropriate safety measures are in place, ensuring the clinic environment is safe for our patients and staff.
Most consent forms can now also be completed online. However, you will need to attend the clinic for clinical investigations, ultrasound scans and procedures such as inseminations, oocyte retrievals and embryo transfers.
Attending your appointment
In order to protect your safety and that of the LWC staff, we continue to implement a number of precautionary policies. We realise that these may cause some inconvenience at times but we ask for your patience and understanding as we seek to take all steps necessary to provide you and our staff with a safe environment offering effective and safe treatment.
We ask that you:
- Read and complete the Covid-19 patient code of conduct and patient information leaflet prior to treatment starting. If your circumstances change and symptoms develop in the 14 days before your appointment, or you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19, you must not enter the clinic but instead, please contact us so we can make alternative arrangements for you.
- Attend all appointments no more than 10 minutes in advance. If you are early, please wait outside the building until your appointment is due or you may call the clinic to ask if it is safe to enter. If you are late, please call the clinic to check you can enter the building.
- Wherever possible we now wish to welcome persons accompanying our patients into the clinic. However, due to differing availability of space, local clinic policies on accompanying individuals may vary. Accompanying individuals are permitted to attend pregnancy scans. In some LWC clinics, this is also possible for baseline scans, embryo transfer, egg collection or insemination appointments: please check with your local clinic on current policies in this regard.
- In order to assess individual risk, you (and anyone attending the appointment with you) will be asked a series of questions before entering the clinic and to adhere to the patient code of conduct.
- On arrival, you should wash your hands and forearms with the alcohol-based hand sanitiser provided.
- We continue to ask that you wear a face-covering at all times when you are in the clinic. A mask will be provided if you don’t have one.
Our clinics in Harley Street, London Bridge, Canterbury, Brentwood, Cardiff, Bristol and Darlington are open. Our Harrow Clinic will be re-opening in the late summer.
We have put a range of measures in place to limit the risk of virus transmission to patients and staff. These have been approved by the HFEA and are outlined in our patient information document. They include restricting the number of people in the clinic, steps to maintain social distancing, and the use of PPE. It is also important that all patients are aware of our Covid safety measures before attending the clinic. For this reason, prior to attending the clinic, we will ask you to read and sign a 'Patient Code of Conduct' to confirm you understand and will help us implement the measures we are taking to minimise the risk of viral transmission.
24 hours before undergoing any procedure in our operating theatres, patients are required to have a Covid-19 swab test (either PCR or lateral flow test). This can be done using a free test from your local chemist or other certified sources, as long as a valid negative result is presented on the day of the procedure.
If you have a pre-existing condition or are in a high-risk group for COVID-19, we may advise you to postpone treatment. Further information may be found on:
If any concerns arise further to your patient triage questionnaire or before your treatment begins, we may advise you to test for COVID-19 or postpone treatment. If your circumstances change after your treatment cycle has started but before any procedure is carried out, or if you should test positive for the COVID-19 virus, cancellation of your treatment cycle may be necessary. If you become unwell after egg collection, we may recommend freezing your embryos and waiting to start treatment.
In certain circumstances for patients classified as higher risk, your consultant may advise that treatment is possible, but you may be asked to take additional precautionary measures to avoid infection, and possibly to delay pregnancy by freezing and storing eggs or embryos.
We appreciate how important it is to be able to be accompanied during your clinic visits and we are working to increase access. However, at this time we must remain cautious about the risk of transmission. While all our clinics are welcoming accompanying persons to attend pregnancy scans, at this time only some of our clinics are offering accompanying individuals to attend for baseline scans, egg collection, embryo transfer and insemination appointments, so please check ahead of your appointment directly with the clinic and their policy at this time. If there is a particular reason why the attendance of an accompanying person is considered absolutely necessary for other appointments, this should be discussed with the clinic prior to starting treatment. Anyone attending the appointment with you will also need to be triaged upon entry and adhere to the patient code of conduct.
Before you travel, please check and be ready to comply with local and UK Government travel and social distancing policies. It is important you are aware of the risk of travelling at this time with heightened measures in place when arriving in the UK from abroad.
Any patients travelling from a country listed on the red list will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel. They must also get 2 coronavirus tests after arriving in England – these will need to be booked before travel. Patients arriving from a country on the red list are not allowed to leave mandated hotel quarantine to attend our LWC clinic. The current red list of countries can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19
Those travelling to the UK for pre-arranged treatment at LWC from a country listed in the amber list will also need to comply with further testing and quarantine rules as well as completing the passenger locator form before travel to the UK. If you are not double vaccinated, you will still be able to travel to and from the LWC clinic and place you are quarantining in the UK but you will otherwise be required to self-isolate as per government guidelines and adhere to all other government rules regarding testing. We advise you to monitor Government advice at:
Finally, patients travelling to the UK from a country listed in the green list will also need to comply with testing and completing a passenger locator form before travel to the UK. However, there will be no requirement to quarantine unless the test result is positive.
Please note, before travelling to the UK you are required to inform the clinic and will need to commence the LWC Covid-19 triage process. For patients arriving from a country on the amber list, you may be required to show a letter explaining your treatment. Please let us know ahead of time so we can provide this to you.
In line with current advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) it is advised pregnant women should be offered Covid-19 vaccines and that women who have received the vaccine need not delay trying to become pregnant after receiving the vaccine.
For more information:
Regarding donation services, it is advised if you are donating within 7 days of vaccination that this is also risk assessed by the clinic on an individual basis.
Our priority at LWC is to ensure our patients are able to access support as required. Whatever stage of your fertility journey we recognise the benefits of peer support and have established our own patient community. If you would like to join our Facebook group, please search for LWC Social where you can connect with other patients in real-time.
Patients are also able to access fertility counselling at every stage of treatment and we would encourage patients to contact your nursing team or patient care coordinator if you feel this might be of benefit.
Whatever your support needs, counselling, coaching or connecting with others, wherever you are in your fertility journey, please do get in touch if we can help.
While we are all beginning to emerge from the pandemic, this remains a challenging time for everyone, especially those who are trying to conceive with fertility treatment. At the LWC our teams are always committed to providing you with safe, supportive and effective care. We do ask for your understanding if your treatment journey is in any way impacted by the virus and any additional steps we may be required to take to maintain the safety of our clinical service for you.
- The government’s advice to the public is kept updated at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- HFEA guidance for patients: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/covid-19-and-fertility-treatment/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-patients/
- HFEA FAQ’s for patients: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/covid-19-and-fertility-treatment/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-patients/frequently-asked-questions-for-patients-on-coronavirus-covid-19/