I posted on here a couple of month's ago as we found out that we have male factor infertility. Since then we've been referred to the assisted conception clinic at our local hospital (Queen Charlotte's in London). The appointment isn't for another couple of months and we're trying to find what the waiting lists are in the area for further investigations and possible treatment. This information doesn't seem to be publicly available so anyone's real life experience would be greatly appreciated, particularly for the London area.
We also may have the option of attending this first appointment privately. However when I spoke to the receptionist she mentioned that you couldn't mix and match the consultant appointments with NHS treatment (this is contrary to NHS guidelines but I appreciate that fertility provision is often different). Has anyone been able to confirm this - I've spoken to both the local and national NHS and neither has been able to clarify.
Sorry for so many questions - any pointers or tips would be greatly appreciated as we're really struggling to make decisions at the moment due to lack of information!
Hi Lostinsouth, what was the outcome? We are in west london and i am still waiting for the letter to confirm how many months wait i have and also thinking about going for my first appt privately and then hopefully continuing treatment on the NHS if needed...
I found that each hospital can treat its patients differently. A friend had the same tests in half the time I got them in at the same hospital in the same time period. I found the NHS is good, free but be prepared to wait. Ad some tests are dependant on cycles and then there is the 3 month wait in between appointments.
No, we could not mix and match private and NHS care so I think that is fairly standard due to the nature of the treatment etc. we could use our NHS tests when we went private so did not have to do tests again ( had to go private as only funding here for one Ivf cycle).
Oh and with NHS treatment remember guidelines are just that. Yes NICE guidelines say everyone should have 3 funded cycles of fertility treatment if a medical need etc etc but each area has its own rules and interpretations of those guidelines and nothing we can do about it! Hence here rules were no previous children, under 39, no smoking, one cycle only and healthy BMI at certain levels and pass welfare check. Other areas have different ages, number of cycles ( some areas have waiting lists for treatment even when have met all the criteria as well).
Hi j200. We spoke to the North West London CCG who did say that we could book the private appointment (as long as this doesn't involve treatment) however we wanted something more formal than a verbal confirmation so we're waiting for written confirmation from the Individual Funding Request team.
To give you an idea of timescales so far, our first consultant appointment is at the start of November and our doctor provided the referral at the end of July. However, we contacted the central referral team which is used in West London after 4 weeks as we hadn't heard anything - we found out that the hospital had not been able to read the documents so hadn't booked an appointment. We then had to wait a further 2 weeks for this to come through. It's worth following up with them at least to know that you are in the system as it seems that they are not pro-active in these circumstances.
I've also asked them to confirm waiting times for treatment in all the hospitals that our CCG (Hounslow) use so that we can weight this up - I'll share this once they confirm. No-one (of the several) people I've spoken to on the phone has been able to do this.
HoopHopes - thanks for the information and hope it's working out for you - if possible we'd like to do the further tests on the NHS and that's really interesting regarding the differing times at the same hospital. We're only 1 NHS cycle too.
After a 7yr journey we now have a ds, but not been able to have a second due to the infertility factors. We took 13 months to do all the tests on NHS as had to do repeat bloods, repeat SA ( and they need to be done 3 months apart) before we were referred to treatment!! We went private after tests due to lots of factors but did get print out of all tests to take with us so did not have to pay for tests again. I had a HSG as well.
Waiting times for treatment can depend on what treatment you need as well. I think I learnt that fertility treatment and testing is all about waiting. Even when we went private we had to wait for appointments ( as a consultant with a particular specialism we needed had 8-12 week waits!!). Patience and keeping all records is what is needed!!