Lessons from Lockdown: How to Improve Support for Fertility Patients
Progress Educational Trust
Event to be held online, via Zoom Video Webinars
5 November 2020 5pm-6.30pm (GMT)
A free-to-attend online event, taking place from 5pm-6.30pm (GMT) on Thursday 5 November 2020.
All are welcome. To attend/participate via the web, please register here.
This event will explore how best to support patients, in light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and the related disruption of fertility treatment.
Dr Zeynep Gurtin (Lecturer in Women's Health at the Institute for Women's Health)
Professor Jacky Boivin (Professor of Health Psychology at Cardiff University)
Seetal Savla (IVF patient and fertility advocate)
Carmel Dennehy (Fertility Implications and Support Counsellor at University College Hospital)
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 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?
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.
If tweeting about this event, please use the hashtag #IVFlockdown