A private fertility clinic in Belfast that was ordered to stop accepting patients after concerns over non-compliance with regulations has had its restrictions lifted after nearly two months.
Origin Fertility Care was told by the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) watchdog in August that it had failed a series of inspections and would have to shut its doors to new patients (reported in BioNews 670).
According to the RQIA, the clinic had failed to comply with eight of its regulations, and inspections flagged a lack of staff supervision, training, and inadequate handling of complaints and patient records. However the RQIA says that, following an inspection on October 10, it is satisfied that the clinic has now 'achieved compliance' with its regulations.
In a statement given to the BBC, the RQIA said: 'As a result [of the inspection] the notice of proposal to place conditions of registration on the service was withdrawn'. The authority added that it would 'continue to monitor the performance of the service through its ongoing regulatory activities'.
A statement on Origin's website said that the company was 'delighted to announce that we have been inspected by HFEA [Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority] and RQIA and have achieved compliance in all areas'.
'We would like to say a very big thank you to all of our patients who have been so supportive and for all your kind messages of encouragement', it added.
After inspections earlier this year the clinic closed in June for two weeks to reorganise; when the RQIA subsequently visited, it still found that regulations were not being adhered to. A 'notice of proposal' was issued in July, putting the wheels in motion for its temporary closure.