Free IVF Treatments

The Medical Director of The Lister fertility Clinic, Mr Hossam (Sam) Abdalla, has called for the NICE guidelines on fertility treatment to be implemented across the country in order to the bring postcode lottery in IVF to an end.

Mr Abdalla, was speaking at the opening of the newly expanded Lister Fertility Clinic which has been doubled in size to cope with the increasing demand from patients in recent years.  The clinic opened 21 years ago and is now the largest in the UK. He said that although it had been a privilege to have helped so many couples with their fertility problems over the years it, was increasingly frustrating that so many more people who need help could not access it.

“Infertility is not only a disease it is also a social disorder with a profound effect on the individual, the family and wider society. It is scandalous that over 30 years after IVF was introduced, infertile couples are denied state funded treatment for their predicament.” said Mr Abdalla.

“We believe that the full implementation of the NICE guidelines is long overdue.  I for one would like to see the day when fertility patients come to me privately not because they have to, but because they want to. Furthermore, long treatment waiting lists on the NHS in some parts of the UK (if at all available) compound an already complicated problem in that age has the most profound effect on fertility treatment and therefore the longer patients wait, the lower their chances of having a baby,” he said.

Opening the newly expanded clinic, Clare Lewis-Jones MBE, the Chief Executive of the leading charity, Infertility Network UK, said The Lister Fertility Clinic had long been known for its high quality care and the compassion shown to countless thousands of anxious childless couples.

“Difficulties in conceiving are a growing problem for our society and many people fail to understand the terrible affect that infertility can have on would be parents and their overall health,” she said.  “Many argue that we don’t have the right to have children, but infertility is an illness and people have the right to try. To have a family is the most natural and compelling wish of so many people who for many reasons and through no fault of their own, find themselves childless.”

“We always encourage women not to leave it too late before trying to start a family but some people have no choice,” said Clare.  “Infertility Network UK have campaigned for many years for the NICE fertility guideline to be fully implemented. We want everyone to be treated equally and we support Sam Abdalla’s call.  There should be no ‘postcode lottery,”  she said.

Sam Abdalla said he wanted to mark the unit’s 21st anniversary and begin a community programme.  “As part of our duty to make treatment more accessible, I am proud to announce that the Lister Fertility Clinic will be offering twenty-one free IVF cycles this year and that this number will increase by one each year. Included in the free cycle are the transfers of any surplus frozen embryos. This programme will be conducted in association with Infertility Network UK” said Mr Abdalla.

“Patients are quite often not only denied IVF treatment because of a lack of NHS or private funding but also because they may have a lower than average chance of becoming pregnant. Clinics under the intense pressure of performance-related competitions such as League Tables may advise these patients to choose other modalities or to give up.  We at the Lister believe that these decisions on how or whether to proceed with treatment should always remain with the patients, having been empowered with the information of their realistic chances of having a baby following treatment,” said Mr Abdalla.

“It is for this reason that we designed the Pregnancy Calculator, our unique and invaluable tool for calculating a patient’s individual chances of pregnancy and live birth following IVF treatment at the Lister. The Lister’s Pregnancy Calculator is the first of its kind in IVF and a version of it is available online for patients to try out at home. In the clinic, our consultants show patients our more comprehensive internal calculator to inform them with even greater detail of their chances and to devise the best approach for their treatment,” he said.

James Barr, Chief Executive of The Lister Hospital paid tribute to Mr Abdalla and his team for their work over the past 21 years.

“Sam Abdalla and his team have embraced and perfected new processes and helped so many people realise parenthood.  The new and extensive private facilities which includes our state of the art embryology laboratory armed with its new electronic witnessing system, is already helping to increase success rates for our patients,” said Mr Barr.  “Together with all the other innovations, this sets a new standard for other clinics to follow.”

intermittent claudication Full medical glossary
In vitro fertilisation. Fertilisation of the female reproductive cell (ovum) outside the body, before implantation into the uterus (womb). Full medical glossary
the period from conception to birth Full medical glossary