Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Keeping you updated

Is it business as usual at CRGW?

Updated 30.3.20 14:00

At CRGW are monitoring the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation in the UK closely, in particular the advice issued by NHS Wales the government. Current advice and reaction to what is an evolving situation can change regularly so please use this page as a source of update which we will update should anything change for our patients.

Current guidance is as follows:

  • Whilst pregnant women can be generally reassured they are asked to consider themselves a vulnerable group
  • It is expected that UK licenced fertility centres will now be working to suspend treatments
  • UK fertility centres must establish the requirements to maintain a minimum service – this may include non-elective fertility preservation
  • Centres are expected to keep communication open with patients for advice and reassurance
  • Centres are expected to minimise their impact on NHS resources.

We are still doing telephone follow up appointments and new consultations (telephone, Skype or FaceTime.

The clinic phone and emails are still answered daily so contact us with concerns or questions we remain here to offer support.

CRGW are suspending new treatments i.e. we will complete the treatments of patients currently in treatment and taking medication but will not start new patients for fresh treatments for the foreseeable future (with the exception of cancer preservation patients). We will update this webpage regularly to let patients know any change in status and also to inform patients of activities and options that the clinic will be offering during the period of us offering fresh treatment.

As outlined previously CRGW had made the decision in light of the pandemic to suspend fresh donor egg treatments and donations of all fresh gametes for the near future. This will of course continue and again we will update on the status of donations in the coming weeks.

We understand that the news may have an emotional and destressing impact on the individuals involved in treatment. However at CRGW we take the welfare of our patients very seriously and we hope that you understand why we have to come to this conclusion and that it is the right and responsible thing to do.

You will undoubtedly have questions surrounding your treatment and what happens next. Please call the team where we can direct your queries to the most appropriate clinic member to help and guide you or call or email the clinic.

Can we still attend for consultation / follow up / consenting?
Yes, we can still see you for all of these appointments at the time of update though if you prefer we can do this over the phone or via Skype / FaceTime. We may in the coming days and weeks move over to these methods rather than to see patients in person as movement of individuals becomes more restricted. 

As you will have heard many times that the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water and hand sanitiser gel if available. You will see sanitiser gel around the clinic in mobile containers in addition to our usual wall mounted hand sanitisers units.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath.

Please do not enter a CRGW clinic if:

  • you have any of the above symptoms
  • if you have recently returned from any of the high risk areas such as China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Italy, and Iran.
  • if you think you may have been exposed to someone who has or is at risk of catching corona virus.

When in doubt please contact the clinic for advice before attending.

Please check back to this page for updates.

What happens if I have already started treatment and coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts patient treatment ?

Patient treatment could change due to intervention from the government, governing bodies or staff exposure to COVID-19.

In the event of this happening the continuation of patients currently in treatment would be assessed on a case by case basis. Unfortunately if treatments are suspended, we would be unable to refund the costs of any used medication or services provided upto the point of suspension. This would include any blood tests that are rendered out of date by the time of recommencement of treatment after the pandemic eases.

Cancelled treatments that you have paid for:

Cancelled by you: If you feel you have to cancel your treatment because of self isolation, your cycle will be free of charge when you re-book other than the cost of your medication and any out of date blood tests since you will have paid for the treatment prior to your isolation.

Cancelled by CRGW due to government / regulator intervention: If your treatment is cancelled by us due to government or regulator intervention stopping our services your cycle will be free of charge when you re-book other than the cost of your medication and any out of date blood tests since you will have paid for the treatment prior to the cancellation.

Cancelled by CRGW due to staffing : If your treatment is cancelled by us due to staff illness due to the Coronavirus preventing staff performing treatments your cycle will be free of charge when you re-book since you will have paid for the treatment prior to the cancellation and we will pay 50% of your medication cost.

 

I'm pregnant from treatment. What should I do?

The government has advised there is no added risk to pregnant women
Unlike ZIKA virus which we have had to monitor in recent years, there is no added risk of congenital abnormalities from COVID-19
The health and safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. In order to maintain the highest levels of safety we are following government advice and in many areas exceeding their recommendations to maximise safety.

RCOG statement

The Royal College of Gynaecologists has published a full statement on coronavirus, here are the key points:

1. Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of infection with COVID-19 than the general population. Data are limited but special consideration should be given to pregnant women with concomitant medical illnesses who could be infected with COVID-19 until the evidence base provides clearer information. There are no reported deaths in pregnant women at the moment.

2. Only one case of possible vertical transmission (transmission from mother to baby antenatally or intrapartum) has been reported in the literature. Expert opinion is that the fetus is unlikely to be exposed during pregnancy. A case series published by Chen et al tested amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swabs and breastmilk samples from COVID-19 infected mothers and all samples tested negative for the virus.2 Furthermore, in a different paper by Chen et al, three placentas of infected mothers were swabbed and tested negative for the virus. Transmission is therefore most likely to be as a neonate. There is currently no evidence concerning transmission through genital fluids.

3. There are currently no data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss in relation to COVID-19. Case reports from early pregnancy studies with SARS and MERS do not demonstrate a convincing relationship between infection and increased risk of miscarriage or second trimester loss. As there is no evidence of intrauterine fetal infection with COVID-19 it is therefore currently considered unlikely that there will be congenital effects of the virus on fetal development.

Recent travel

Category 1 areas

If you have been to a Category 1 area in the last 14 days (includes Hubei province, China; lockdown areas in Northern Italy; Iran; Special care zones in South Korea) please do not come to CRGW. You should stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111 who will advise you of the next steps.

Category 2 areas

If you have been to a Category 2 area in the last 14 days (includes Italy, other parts of mainland China or South Korea; Hong Kong; Japan; Macau; Malaysia; Singapore; Taiwan; Thailand; Vietnam; Laos; Cambodia; Myanmar) AND have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild) then do not come to the clinic. You should stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111 who will advise you of the next steps.

 

What else are CRGW doing?

Our staff

We are briefing our own staff as we learn more as the situation changes or developes. We are encouraging our staff to feel confident about self-isolating if necessary. All staff are fully aware that they must not come to work if they have a temperature or new continuous cough.

Assessment of patients

We will be asking patients about their health when they telephone the clinic and when they arrive at the clinic. To protect our patients and staff, we are asking anyone with symptoms to return home and reschedule their appointment.

Handcleaning

We have increased the number of hand sanitising sprays throughout the clinic. All staff have been advised to increase the frequency of their handwashing and everyone attending CRGW is asked to wash or sanitise their hands when they arrive.

General hygiene

Will have tissues available on reception, please carry tissues with you and use them to catch all coughs and sneezes, then bin the tissue and wash your hands.
Further communication
We are following all government advice very closely and also guidance from our regulator, the HFEA, and expert UK professional bodies like the British Fertility Society and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. These organisations have not recommended that patients should delay or cancel treatment. We are aware that guidance issued by our European colleagues does make this recommendation but we don’t believe this guidance is relevant to the UK.

If you would like to chat to a member of our team, you can call us on 0800 564 2270

Further communication

We are following all government advice very closely and also guidance from our regulator, the HFEA and expert UK professional bodies like the British Fertility Society and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. These organisations have not recommended that patients should delay or cancel treatment.