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How we work with others

We provide a better service and improve outcomes for patients and their families by working with others. This work, which informs our licensing decisions about clinics, our policies and the services we provide for patients, licensed centres and the public, includes:

  • Finding out the views and experiences of patients, donors and people born from fertility treatment 
  • Working with professional and patient stakeholders
  • Collaborating with other regulators
  • Working with the Department of Health.

Seeking views

When we develop new policies, we make sure that we gather the views of the patient, donor or donor-conceived person. We also use patient feedback to develop new policies to address their needs.

We also use feedback from patients about individual clinics when going on inspection: we interview patients on the day and we seek their views online to help build a picture of what it is like to have treatment at that clinic.

Give feedback about a clinic.

Working with stakeholders

We work with a range of stakeholders: from organisations representing patients, donors and donor-conceived people to staff working in licensed clinics. Our regular meetings with stakeholders enable us to involve them in forthcoming policy and inspection changes, to get views on improvements and get feedback on recent changes.

Find out more about the stakeholders we meet regularly.

Collaborating with other regulators

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) are now working together to deliver regulation more effectively while ensuring that safety and quality of service are maintained. To achieve this we have developed memoranda of understanding and a joint working protocol for the HFEA and CQC, the HFEA and HTA and an MoU between the CQC and HTA. Further to this, a shared information agreement has also been created between the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the HFEA. One of the main aims of the collaboration is to share information between us to increase the effectiveness of our regulation.

This new approach will enable inspectors from the three organisations to work together much more closely, ensuring there are proper mechanisms for sharing information where there are regulatory concerns about co-regulated centres.

As part of our joint working programme we have looked into where there is regulatory overlap and identified strategies to minimise this where possible. We also aim to raise awareness of the registration requirements for HFEA licensed centres and to ensure that inspection teams from both organisations understand the extent of their regulatory remit.

Find out more about how we collaborate with other regulators

Working with the Department of Health

We work in partnership with the Department of Health (Department) and its other Arm's Length Bodies (ALBs), in the interests of patients, people who use services and the public, to maximise the health and wellbeing gain for the population, and working to the values set out in the NHS Constitution.

A framework detailing the ways of working has been created to illustrate this. The purpose of the document is to define the critical elements of the relationship between the Department and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Page last updated: 31 March 2014