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Lack of staff leads to closure of fertility service

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Difficulty in recruiting Embryologists at the University Hospital of Hartlepool has resulted in the withdrawal of fertility services by North Tees and Hartlepool Trust at the end of March 2016. The closing of the facility, which carries out approximately 250 In Vitro Fertilisations (IVF) cycles per annum, will mean that patients who are struggling to have children being referred to units in other hospitals. 

A “shock announcement”

The loss of the facility is being “vehemently” opposed by Hartlepool Council, with Council leader, Christopher Akers-Belche saying: “The announcement has come completely out of the blue and we feel badly let down by the lack of consultation.” He went on to describe how opposed the council is to the withdrawal of the service and has claimed that he would be fighting the decision “all of the way”. He announced that a meeting to discuss the “shock announcement” would be sought with the Trust.

David Emerton, the Trust’s Medical Director, has responded by confirming that the decision was in no way a reflection on the excellent service which has been provided over the years and confirmed that the Trust understands how disappointing their tough decision would be for patients. He stated: “We have made every effort for some time to recruit, however we cannot continue to provide all aspects of the current serviced safely due to an inability to recruit Embryologists.” He announced that a staff consultation was being carried out and that all efforts were being made to redeploy employees in other areas of the service.

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