As part of my freelance work I was commissioned by The Surrey Park Clinic to write about their differing approach to IVF and fertility services. I was invited to spend time with their Guildford team which, initially, sparked a whole host of strange emotions as I’d not stepped foot inside a fertility clinic since my own treatment. It was with mixed feelings that I crossed their threshold. I left, however, feeling completely overwhelmed by what I saw.
In a world where fertility treatment costs are rising and patients are often on a conveyor belt, I saw a unique and refreshingly transparent service. IVF is often billed as a magical cure when the sad truth is it doesn’t always work for everyone. It’s therefore only fair, and ethical, that clinics are honest, truthfully presenting the reality of each situation; clients are real people who deserve kindness and humanity as well as a professional service.
Infertility is often described as a battle and, at times, it’s not only a battle to conceive it’s also a fight for treatment and access to medical teams. Patients should never have to solely become their own advocates, pushing for consultations or changes to procedures and the right to try another option. I was amazed to find that all treatment is Consultant-led, enabling those important decisions to be made competently and compassionately, yet also with speed. Finding a clinic with the right patient values at its core is incredibly important; determination can only get an infertile so far meaning the unending support of a caring medical team is invaluable. In an industry so often full of controversy, I found genuine care and a will to try to do what is right for every single patient.
To read my article and visit The Surrey Park Clinic’s website then click here or see below.
It’s never straightforward discovering that assisted conception is required, in order to have a family. The information available can be overwhelming and daunting and, at times, it’s difficult to even know where to begin. Infertility most certainly has a language of its own. There’s also an element of hopelessness and despair, when realising that future dreams are dependent on doctors, nurses and medical science, coupled together with a big pinch of luck.
With the NHS cutting the number of funded cycles and tightening the criteria for those eligible, infertile couples are often left stranded, required to find a clinic themselves and self-fund their treatment. With no real guidance, it’s incredibly easy to be misled by statistics, misguided by the false hope of add-ons and mistaken over what treatment options are available. The range of differing advice, plethora of myths and complex data, can mean patients are left utterly bewildered during what is already a confusing and complicated time.
Every person is unique, and each fertility situation is individual. Whether it’s male or female factor, both or unexplained, no two cases are, or should be considered, the same; one size does not fit all when it comes to fertility treatments. Whether it be an initial consultation, IUI, IVF or ICSI, it’s incredibly important to find a clinic which offers honesty, compassion and a tailormade service, for all its clients.
IVF is often billed as a magical cure. However, the sad truth is; in vitro fertilisation won’t work for everyone. It’s therefore only fair and ethical that clinics are transparent, truthfully presenting the reality of each situation. Clients are real people who deserve kindness and fairness as well as a professional service.
The Surrey Park clinic prides itself on offering a unique fertility experience. Its consultant led approach ensures that every patient is matched with a named consultant, who is accessible to them throughout the whole of their medical care. Treatment should not have to be delayed because a doctor is too busy to make a quick decision. Consultants scan and fully immerse themselves in every case, analysing results and being on hand to make any changes to protocols, no matter how small, believing that patients and their well-being must be at the core of all they do.
Whilst fertility data is regulated, by the HFEA, understanding what clinics report can be mind-boggling. Advertised success rates aren’t always as they first appear, for instance, becoming pregnant can be a very different situation to having a live birth. It’s also important to understand that patients are not just a statistic and simply because a woman is of a certain age, or a man has been diagnosed with a specific condition, doesn’t mean that the odds for a successful outcome are the same as another couple with similar circumstances. Surrey Park compassionately manages expectations, never being scared to give patients the whole picture, but providing them with an individual and personalised success rate. When it comes to infertility treatment, nothing should be a surprise and a clinic must be accountable; it needs to have done everything it possibly can, to try to achieve a positive result and tend to the well-being of each patient.
IVF is tough. It’s invasive, uncomfortable and immensely time consuming, it can feel like a full-time job just trying to keep on top of the scans, tests and appointments required for each cycle. Patients should not have to be shoehorned into a clinic’s opening hours, or rushed along a treatment conveyor belt, just to suit the employees. At Surrey Park, staff do their utmost to fit in around an individual’s needs, treatment should be patient-led, and everyone has the right to flexibility in order to ensure as little stress as possible is experienced.
Choosing the right clinic is a very personal decision, information can be garnered from websites or forums however, it’s difficult to get a true sense, of a clinic, over the world wide web. Surrey Park regularly hosts open evenings, inviting patients to see the facilities first-hand and offering an opportunity to meet with the clinic director, fertility nurse and consultants; patients must feel comfortable with their doctor and in the clinic’s environment, even before treatment begins.
Infertility is often described as a battle and, at times, it’s not only a battle to conceive it’s also a fight for treatment and access to medical teams. Patients should never have to solely become their own advocates, pushing for consultations or changes to procedures and the right to try another option. Consultants and clients absolutely need to work together, and Surrey Park acknowledges that anyone, who walks through their door, is entitled to transparency, and all the information required to make informed decisions about any next steps.
Mothers speak of how they will do anything for their child, yet so will those desperately hoping to become a mother too, those of us living with infertility. We inject, we undergo surgery, heartbreak and grief. We change our lifestyles, wait and hope, all whilst maintaining the façade of a normal life, getting up each morning and going to work, fitting anguish and clinic appointments into our daily routines. And all for no guarantees, simply for hope, for chance and a dream come true.
Determination can only get an infertile so far but, combine willpower with science and a fully supportive clinic, offering thoughtful and individualised treatment, and that really does go a long way in helping to achieve a positive outcome. Patients have a right to the high level of support and honesty a professional, compassionate clinic, like Surrey Park, provides, under a team holding their best interests at heart.