Fertility services provided by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will change at the end of March.
This means that licensed fertility treatments will no longer be provided, however the trust will still be providing some general infertility treatments. The trust will be working with other service providers to look at the way services are provided in the future and to ensure that patients continue to receive appropriate treatment.
The decision has been made reluctantly after a comprehensive review of the service provided at the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s assisted reproduction unit, which is unable to recruit enough embryologists to continue to provide the current service safely.
A staff consultation has begun and every effort will be made to redeploy the staff within the trust.
The trust will be working with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority over the coming months. Patients are being informed of the changes and they will be supported while they are transferred to another unit of their choice.
The service began in the early 1990’s before moving to the new refurbished unit in 2008. It provides on average 250 cycles of licensed fertility treatments each year.
Medical director David Emerton said: “This decision is not a reflection of the quality of the service which has been provided for a number of years by the trust. We understand that this decision will be disappointing for patients. We have made every effort for some time to recruit, however we cannot continue to provide all aspects of the current service safely due to an inability to recruit embryologists.”