At Fertility Fusion we have an extremely efficient close-knit multi-disciplinary team who, in recent months, have been looking after large numbers of patients who have been quite stressed with their predicament. As news of the pandemic emerged, we were presented with significant challenges that meant we had to wind down our diagnostic and treatment services. We suddenly had to switch to clinics becoming virtual and many of our couples, who had been gearing up to commence their much wanted treatment, suddenly found that they were being cancelled or put on-hold at extremely short notice.
At around the same time; and at short notice, the Trust’s Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPU) moved in to the Fertility Fusion centre at Wrightington, along with urgent gynaecology assessments. This was to reduce the need for healthy patients to attend the acute Wigan site, unnecessarily and by using appropriate triage processes and PPE, the service has remained fully functional throughout the crisis.
We were thrilled when the Secretary of State announced that fertility services were safe to resume across the UK and, once the relevant boxes were ticked with the licensing authority, we were good to go. And while we had all gotten used to working together at Wrightington, the early pregnancy service went back home to Leigh.
In an emotionally charged area such as ours, caring for patients at a social distance has certainly presents some difficulties whilst either wearing a face mask or consulting over the phone. Additional restrictions where people have to attend appointments unaccompanied can lead to further additional stresses, especially if the news is not good.
Equally, for our team who are so close-knit , the idea of social distancing from friends and colleagues has also presented an awkward necessity, with underlying fears of inadvertently picking up the infection and transporting it home to those we hold most close.
Our team are fully prepared to care for you in a safe environment
The highlight of emerging from the restrictions of the pandemic is the enviable opportunity to really take control of redesigning how we provide care and define new ways of delivering our services. While the experience of working through a pandemic has been unsettling, chaotic and often reflective, there are plenty of different ways of working that will lead to improved efficiencies in service delivery that will ultimately benefit both staff and patients alike.
As we open up our services, most patients have been quite understanding about the need for new ways of working, and are just as keen that we keep ourselves, and our patients, safe for as long as is necessary.