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New contract for fertility treatment

PUBLISHED: 13:45 16 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 11 May 2010

FERTILITY treatment across most of Norfolk will be run by a team from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn from next month.

Until now the service for central Norfolk has been run by Bart's hospital in London at an outreach clinic on Princes Street in Norwich, while the QEH and James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston have each run the service in their catchment areas.

FERTILITY treatment across most of Norfolk will be run by a team from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn from next month.

Until now the service for central Norfolk has been run by Bart's hospital in London at an outreach clinic on Princes Street in Norwich, while the QEH and James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston have each run the service in their catchment areas.

From April 1 the QEH will be taking over the Norwich clinic and will be offering fertility services in both King's Lynn and Norwich. The JPH will carry on providing the Yarmouth and Waveney service - although because patients can choose where they are treated, Yarmouth patients can choose to go to Norwich, or vice versa.

The new contract is for level two services, which cover hospital treatment such as tests on fallopian tubes and for polycystic ovaries, and some surgery like laparascopy and endometriosis treatment. Specialised level three treatment, including IVF, will still be done in London. People who need it be referred there from the level two service in Norfolk. Around 400 people a year will be treated by the QEH teams and an estimated 200 of those will be referred on to London. GPs will continue to do first-stage or level one treatment, such as tests for ovulation and tests on sperm.

Hamed Al-Taher, lead clinician for fertility services at the QEH, said: “The difference people will notice is a shorter journey, individualised treatment and direct nurse contact. Hormonal tests and tube tests will be done in one go to reach a diagnosis quicker and then start treatment directly. They will have a direct telephone to our specialist nurse if they have any queries.”

Helen Izaat, contracts manager for NHS Norfolk said: “For the last 13 years NHS Norfolk has had a contract with Barts and the London NHS Trust, which has been very successful with over 1,000 live births. However it has always been the intention to return level two services to a provider within Norfolk.

“Following a successful tendering exercise by NHS Norfolk, the contract has been jointly awarded to the James Paget Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. These two trusts will be accepting referrals from today for services to start from April.”

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