Services at Northern Ireland’s Regional Fertility Clinic (RFC) will recommence from 10th August. The information was relayed to Alan Chambers, Ulster Unionist MLA for North Down, in a written answer after he raised the matter directly with the Minister of Health Robin Swann MLA.
Alan Chambers, the UUP’s Health Spokesperson, said:
“I very much welcome this news and I hope that it will come as a real message of hope for all those who are depending on fertility treatment.
“Covid-19 has had an unparalleled impact on our health service. Services had to be downturned to protect patient and staff safety and unfortunately fertility treatments, like so many others, were affected. The closure of the RFC was extremely distressing for patients and since then they have been eagerly awaiting news of when treatments would resume.
“Whilst the immediate focus has understandably been on restarting urgent services first, I’m pleased that Robin Swann also made it a personal commitment of his to see the reinstatement of fertility services taken on as a key priority.
“I am delighted to have now been informed that the Belfast Trust is planning to enable the phased recommencement of fertility services in little over two weeks’ time.
“I’m aware that the problem of restarting fertility services here was particularly challenging as the RFC is the only provider of the service, as well as the fact that space at the centre is extremely limited and a number of key staff had been redeployed to other essential roles. I welcome the Minister’s intervention and interest on the matter however and I hope it will come as some relief to the many people desperately waiting to be given the precious opportunity of bringing a new life into this world.”
Notes to Editors:
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
ROBIN SWANN MLA
Castle Buildings, Ballymiscaw,
Stormont, Belfast BT4 3SQ
Alan Chambers MLA
22 JULY 2020
Alan Chambers MLA asked:
To ask the Minister of Health for an update on the recommencement of fertility services.
I launched the Strategic Framework for Rebuilding Health and Social Care Services on 9 June 2020 and Phase 2 Rebuilding Plans, which cover the period July to September, on 10 July.
The focus will be on re-starting urgent services first; however, I made it clear that I consider re-instatement of fertility services to be a priority. The Belfast Trust has therefore been working to put plans in place to enable the service to recommence, on a phased basis, at the Regional Fertility Centre from 10 August 2020.
ROBIN SWANN MLA