Information for GPs and other Clinicians
Access to Fertility Services
Referrals to the Fertility Unit arrive in the female name mainly from General Practitioners in Nottingham and the surrounding area. The catchment area includes parts of Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire as well as a large proportion of Nottinghamshire. As in most areas of the country, NHS provision is patchy and referrals must be carefully selected on the basis of CCG contracts. GPs referring patients from areas without a service level agreement are rejected and sent back to the GP. Internal referrals are not accepted and returned advising the referral be made by their GP, in the female name with the pre-requisite investigations and paperwork.
- Letter/electronic referral/choose and book
- Registration of patient
- Vetting of referral
- Welfare of the Child and patient questionnaire if not received with initial referral
- 1st appointment (consultant-led or Nurse-led clinic), Initial treatment plan
- 1st line treatment e.g. IUI
- Follow up (if appropriate)
- 2nd line treatment (if required)
- Referral for IVF/ICSI
Welfare of the Child (WOTC) Assessment
HFEA Guidance Note 8a states that:
“No treatment services regulated by the HFEA (including IUI) may be provided unless account has been taken of the welfare of any child who may be born as a result (including the need of that child for supportive parenting) and of any other child who may be affected by the birth”
A WOTC assessment is needed in order to satisfy the Fertility Unit that there are no obvious reasons why a client and partner (if they have one) may not become parents. This limited assessment relies largely on the honesty of the individuals concerned and on the referring practitioners.
An HFEA “Welfare of Child – Patient History Form” is sent to patients and returned with the questionnaire. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/WelfareofthechildformV2.pdf
Overseas patients who do not have ‘leave to remain’ are no longer entitled to either investigations or treatment for infertility. These patients/couple have to be ‘vetted’ by our overseas team to determine whether their VISA status gives that entitlement. If not, they may still be seen as ‘self-funded’ patients.