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LONDON WOMEN’S CLINIC IS OPEN

The LWC remains open and fully operational as we begin to emerge from the recent lock-down. Since re-opening after the lockdown closure last spring, the LWC has successfully offered all our treatment programs 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.

To continue to operate safely, we ask that you assist us by following the steps outlined below. We appreciate your assistance in protecting both patient and staff safety at this time.

(Updated 6th April)

Online Consultations

Since the corona virus outbreak began, almost all consultations have been carried out on-line or by telephone. While traditional face-to face consultations remain available on special request, the on-line alternative using Microsoft Teams (or the telephone) has proved effective and popular with many, facilitating social distancing and helping to ensure the clinic environment is safe for our patients and staff.

All our clinical teams, including doctors, nurses, counsellors and embryologists continue to use online or telephone consultations in most instances. However, if an online or telephone consultation is not possible or appropriate, an alternative option will be provided.

Most consent forms can now also be completed online. However, you will need to attend 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 have instituted a number of important steps. We realise that 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.

At this time we therefore ask that you:

  • Complete the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire and associated documentation (patient code of conduct and patient information leaflet) prior to treatment starting and at the start of any treatment cycle. If your circumstances change and symptoms develop in the 14 days before your appointment, 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 for 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.
  • When coming to the clinic, it is important that any accompanying person remain outside the clinic unless you are attending for a pregnancy scan, in which case  an accompanying partner will be welcome.
  • Anyone attending the appointment with you will also need to complete a COVID-19 triage form and adhere to the patient code of conduct.
  • On arrival, you should wash your hands and forearms with the alcohol-based hand sanitiser provided.
  • Upon arriving for a clinic visit, you will be re-triaged by being asked a series of questions before entering the clinic.
  • 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. We will provide further updates on plans for other clinics on our website over the next few weeks.

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 triaged before attending the clinic in order to assess risk of being infected, transmitting the virus, or of complications on becoming infected. For this reason, prior to attending the clinic, we will ask you to complete a 'Patient Triage Health Questionnaire' which allows us to assess whether you have a higher than normal risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19, and 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.

Based on the initial assessment 'Patient Triage Health Questionnaire', we may require throat and nose swab testing for the virus before attending the clinic and starting your treatment depending upon your circumstances and any symptoms. Additionally, all patients undergoing any procedure in our operating theatres will be required to undergo Covid-19 PCR swab with a valid result a few days before the procedure.

Patients who require Covid-19 swab testing following their completion of the patient triage health questionnaire or in advance of treatments for which testing is required, can have it arranged by LWC or obtain it from any other certified test provider. Please note that if the test is organised by the LWC, a fee is chargeable.

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

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. However, at this time we must remain cautious about the risk of transmission and are therefore advising that any accompanying person must remain outside the clinic unless you are attending for a pregnancy scan. If there is a particular reason why attendance of 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 complete a COVID-19 triage form 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 into the UK from abroad.

From Monday 15th February government introduced new testing, self-isolation, and quarantine rules for those travelling abroad. Any patients travelling from a country listed on the banned 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 are not allowed to leave mandated hotel quarantine to attend our LWC clinic. The current list of banned 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 not listed in the banned list will also need to comply with further testing and quarantine rules as well as completing the passenger locator form before your travel to the UK. 

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

Please note, before travelling to the UK you will need to commence the LWC Covid-19 triage process.

When you arrive in the UK 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 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the British Fertility Society, the risks and benefits of vaccination prior to fertility treatment will be assessed on an individual basis by the treating doctor. The latest guidance advises that women who have received the vaccine need not delay trying to become pregnant after receiving the vaccine.

For more information:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/?s=09#vaccines

Regarding donation services it is advised if you are donating within 7 days of vaccination this is also risk assessed by the clinic on an individual basis.

 

Our Support Services

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 coaching as part of treatment and we would encourage patients to reach out to coaching@londonwomensclinic.com if you feel this might be of benefit.

Alternatively, some patients may wish implications and support counselling before during and or after treatment and we can provide referral details for our associated specialist fertility counsellors. If you would like more details on this, please do speak to your nursing teams.

Whatever your support needs, counselling, coaching or to connect with others, wherever you are in your fertility journey, please do get in touch if we can help.

 

Thank You

This remains a challenging time for everyone, especially those who are trying to conceive with fertility treatment. At the LWC our teams are as always committed to provide 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.

 

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