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HFEA statement regarding the Daily Mail investigation

Read our Chair's statement regarding the Daily Mail investigation.

HFEA Chair Sally Cheshire said: 

“We are very concerned by the allegations made in this investigation. At the HFEA our priority is the best possible treatment and care for patients and donors. If any patients at these clinics have worries about their care, they should contact us while we investigate further. We have already contacted the clinics involved and our inspectors will investigate each allegation. If we find poor practice in a clinic, we will take regulatory action.”

In addition to this, a HFEA spokesperson gave a statement regarding egg sharing donation:

“We have clear rules in our code of practice, enforced by inspectors, that clinics must explain the risks and chance of success of treatment to each patient and donor, and avoid encouraging people to donate eggs and sperm with the promise of financial gain. This investigation highlights potential breaches of our code and our inspectors will be investigating each allegation presented to us. If we find that a clinic is in breach of our code, we will take regulatory action.”

A HFEA spokesperson has also given a statement on egg freezing: 

“Egg freezing has become more widely available over recent years, though the numbers are still too low for us to publish clinic-by-clinic data. Our latest national data on egg freezing shows that the pregnancy rate is around 22%, but this is for women of all age groups and is likely to include eggs frozen using older techniques. We require clinics to give an accurate prediction of the chance of success from any fertility treatment and we check patient information on inspection.”

On the OHSS, our Chair Sally Cheshire said:

“We are very concerned about the allegation of under-reporting of OHSS, which can in rare cases be life-threatening. Our figures include only severe and critical cases of OHSS which clinics must report to us immediately. Mild or moderate cases, which are less serious but still very worrying for patients, may also involve a hospital admission and are therefore included in the NHS data. We believe that we do have a good picture of the severe and critical cases. However, we will investigate this and if any evidence of intentional under-reporting by clinics is found, we will take action against those responsible.”

If you are a patient and would like to speak to the HFEA, please contact us.

Publication date: 22 December 2017

Review date: 22 December 2019