"Removing an NHS service required as part of the fertility tests for IVF"

About: Crawley Hospital / Gynaecology Surrey PCT

(as the patient),

We are in the early stages of fertility treatment- we have been told that we are unable to conceive without assistance - and are going through the various exploratory tests required for IVF on the NHS.

Part of this requires an HSG - which is undertaken once a week for 1 hour at Crawley Hospital. This requires you to be on Day 8-12 of your monthly cycle so there is only a very small window of opportunity. The last TWO months, this service has been withdrawn - even though it is required for NHS fertility treatment - which means that three months has now been lost.

In fertility cases, this is pretty critical. We now have to wait another 4 weeks - and even then, it is no guarantee that we will be able to secure an HSG appointment given that there is only 3 or 4 slots for all fertility couples in the whole of Surrey and Sussex every week.

How can the NHS insist on this test being undertaken for NHS fertlity treatment - and then not (a) provide this service, and (b) when this service had previously been provided, only allocate 3 or 4 slots per week for all couples seeking fertility help in Surrey & Sussex?

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Responses

Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

I would like to apologise for the delay in offering you an appointment for this important test. This has been caused partly by a change to the pathway for fertility patients from the Sussex area and partly from a temporary shortage of appropriately trained staff.

Please be assured that we do of course realise how distressing this situation can be for a couple seeking our help to start a family and we have taken steps to resolve the problems that have temporarily had an impact on this service.

I would like to encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who, alongside the manager of this service, will help arrange for you to have your investigations carried out as soon as possible. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.

Best wishes

Bill

Bill Kilvington

Associate Director for Women and Child Health