Eastbourne fertility centre has licence suspended ‘with immediate effect’

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An independent fertility centre in Eastbourne has had its licence suspended due to ‘significant concerns’.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the UK fertility regulator. It is part of the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK.

This month (February 2023) the HFEA inspected iTrust Fertility Eastbourne, in Alder Close, and now it has suspended its licence.

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The HFEA report says: “The HFEA has suspended iTrust Fertility Eastbourne’s licence to operate with immediate effect, due to significant concerns about the clinic.”

Eastbourne fertility centre has licence suspended ‘with immediate effect’Eastbourne fertility centre has licence suspended ‘with immediate effect’
Eastbourne fertility centre has licence suspended ‘with immediate effect’

It says there’s been an ‘extraordinary degree of regulatory oversight in the last two years’ and an ‘unprecedented level of support’ provided by the HFEA inspectors to the centre’s responsible person (PR).

The report said the decision was made due to ‘the number and significant nature of the clinic’s failings as described in the inspection report’ and there would be a risk to patients if the licence wasn’t suspended with immediate effect.

Although the report says the PR had put in place some remedial actions to co-operate with the HFEA, these actions ‘had not been sufficient to address the non-compliances and the executive’s concerns’.

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A suspension means the licence will be taken away for a maximum of three months. The centre has held a licence with HFEA since 1992.

A centre spokesperson said: “We are shocked and concerned by the HFEA’s decision to suspend our licence. In July 2022 following a routine inspection by the HFEA, (to which all IVF clinics are submitted) the HFEA inspector recommended a continuation of our licence. It therefore remains unclear what the basis is for such a draconian decision, which we are in the process of appealing.

“As a responsible provider in Sussex our primary focus is to support our patients and our team, treatments will be completed for all those in treatment and all stored gametes are safe and will stay in the clinic. We are working with the HFEA to resume services as quickly as possible. Anyone affected by this decision and/or who requires support should not hesitate to contact our clinical team at anytime on 01323 410333.”