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LONDON WOMEN’S CLINIC IS OPEN

We are aware that there has been increased anxiety among our patients about the possible impact of a second wave of the Covid pandemic on our fertility services. Since re-opening in June the LWC has successfully offered all our treatment programs in a Covid secure environment and we fully expect to be able to continue to do so. Additional assurance in this regard has been provided by the sector regulator, the HFEA, that has recently written to licenced centres to confirm that the measures clinics put in place in order to re-open in June have proved effective in protecting patients and staff, and that there is no reason that we cannot continue to operate fully at this time. 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.

In order to continue to operate safely we ask that you assist us by following the steps outlined below.

(Updated 19th October)

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 request, the on-line alternative using Microsoft Teams (or the telephone) have 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 do understand that that these may cause some inconvenience at times and we do keep them under review. However, at this time we must continue to ask you to:

  • 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 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 have received specific permission from the clinic in advance of your appointment. We understand that this policy can cause disappointment, but it remains necessary at this time.
  • 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, your temperature will be checked using a non-contact method and you should wash your hands and forearms with the alcohol-based hand sanitiser provided.
  • 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, Cardiff, Bristol and Darlington are open. Our Brentwood clinic will open on 17th September. 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 and staff are ‘screened’ 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 starting your treatment depending upon your circumstances and any symptoms. Additionally, all patients undergoing any procedure under sedation 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, we may cancel treatment.  If you become unwell after egg collection, we may recommend freezing your embryos and waiting to start treatment. The clinic has the right to cancel your treatment at short notice if we deem there is a potential risk of viral transmission. Such a decision would be taken by a multidisciplinary team to ensure full consideration.

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 have received specific permission from the clinic in advance of your appointment. 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. Those travelling to the UK for pre-arranged treatment at LWC will need to complete the passenger locator form before your travel to the UK. Those patients travelling for planned treatment are currently exempt from quarantine on arrival (if travelling from a country in the travel corridor exempt list) If you are travelling from a country not listed in the governments exempt list you will still be able to travel to and from the LWC clinic and place you are staying in the UK but you will otherwise be required to self-isolate as per government guidelines. 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.

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 find implications and support counselling ahead of treatment of great benefit so we can gladly provide referral details for 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.

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