Lessons from Lockdown: How to Improve Support for Fertility Patients Agenda
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Lessons from Lockdown: How to Improve Support for Fertility Patients


This year's coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdowns and other precautionary measures across the globe. In many countries, these measures have included the closure of fertility clinics.

In the UK, most fertility clinics closed their doors in early April, disrupting and delaying the treatment of thousands of patients. An atmosphere of uncertainty prevailed, with little clarity as to when treatments could resume, how waiting lists and funding arrangements would be affected, or how patients would be prioritised once clinics reopened.

This situation contributed to the stress and anxiety experienced by many patients. Even at the best of times, infertility can be associated with a sense of lack of control, and for some patients this feeling was intensified during and after lockdown.

In May, the UK's fertility regulator - the HFEA - issued guidance which allowed clinics to begin reopening if they could meet certain criteria. However, the situation was inconsistent across the UK. Some patients were able to resume treatment almost immediately, while others grew increasingly frustrated because they were unable to access information, make plans or receive adequate support.

Attendees at this free-to-attend online event - taking place from 5pm-6.30pm (GMT) on Thursday 5 November 2020 - will hear from an academic who has led large-scale research into fertility patients' experiences of the pandemic, a fertility counsellor, and a patient/advocate whose own fertility treatment has been disrupted.

The event will explore questions including:

  • What have been the greatest concerns and anxieties of fertility patients during the recent period?

  • What support do fertility patients need in such circumstances? And what support have they actually received?

  • What lessons should be taken on board by fertility clinics, fertility regulators and others, if similar circumstances should arise in future?

  • How can fertility patients best be helped in the event of a resurgence of coronavirus/COVID-19 cases, and accompanying precautionary measures? Or in the event of a different disease pandemic? Or in any such period of widespread disruption and uncertainty?

The event will be chaired by Sarah Norcross, with speakers including Dr Zeynep Gurtin, Seetal Savla and Carmel Dennehy. Find out more about the speakers and chair here.

Attendees will not be audible or visible during this online event, but will still be able to put questions and comments to the speakers and chair, via a Q&A tool within Zoom Video Webinars.

All are welcome. To attend/participate via the web, please register here.

If tweeting about this event, please use the hashtag #IVFlockdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

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