Hundreds of desperate couples who need infertility treatment to help them have children, can now receive help from the UK’s leading specialists while still being cared for at the Great Western Hospital (GWH), Swindon, thanks to a new venture.
The fertility team at GWH has forged a partnership with the Oxford Fertility Unit, which is recognised as one of the leading centres of clinical excellence for fertility treatment in the world. Together they are launching the ‘Oxford Fertility Unit at Swindon’ which will mean that their patients get the best of both worlds – the very best advice and treatment available anywhere, delivered locally.
Mr Kevin Jones, fertility consultant, said: “This is fantastic news for our patients, who come from all over the region. The Oxford Fertility Unit leads the way in research into infertility and offers some of the most advanced treatments available, with a high degree of success. This new service means that we will offer out-patient clinics here, in full collaboration with specialists from Oxford. While patients will have to travel to Oxford for highly specialised elements of their treatment, they will be able to receive the rest of their treatment here.”
All members of the fertility team at GWH, which includes consultant Andrew Bond, the lead for NHS fertility services and Jill Comley, Fertility Nurse Specialist, are excited about the new venture which launches on Monday 6 July.
The guest of honour at the launch event was baby George Sumner. His parents, Amanda and Chris, who live at Haydon End, were transferred from GWH to Oxford when they needed fertility treatment. George was the first Swindon baby from the Oxford Fertility Unit to be born as a result of a new technology known as In Vitro Maturation (IVM)*.
Amanda commented: “This new service is great news for any couple trying to have children of their own. Anyone coming for treatment here will now be confident that they are getting help from worldwide experts without having to travel backwards and forwards to Oxford. For anyone undergoing treatment it is a very stressful period – the team at Swindon and Oxford were fantastic in helping us through this and, hopefully, now even more couples will be able to become parents with their help.”
Mr Tim Child, Medical Director at the Oxford Fertility Unit added: “The team at Swindon have been incredibly enthusiastic about this new collaboration. We are looking forward to working with them to ensure that all their patients get the very best advice and treatment possible.”
Every year over 400 couples seek advice for infertility at Great Western Hospital. The number treated using IVF is expected to increase, as the Wiltshire Primary Care Trust now grants up to 3 cycles of treatment to eligible couples – essentially when the female partner is between 30 and 39 years of age.
*IVM is a pioneering new technology that does not require fertility drugs as eggs are collected from the ovaries while they are still immature. They are then grown in a laboratory for 1-2 days before being fertilised and inserted into the womb.
Pictured: Chris Sumner, Amanda Sumner with baby George, Fertility Nurse Specialist Jill Comley and Consultant Andrew Bond