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Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for professionals

A revised General Direction has been issued and licensed clinics can now apply to reopen. 

Updated - 28 July 2020

We are regularly monitoring the situation, the government guidance, and the advice from the fertility sector medical and scientific experts. We will update this page as necessary.

Clinics reopening safely: General Direction GD0014 (version 2)

On 11 May 2020 we issued General Direction GD0014 (version 2), which is designed to accommodate the very different positions that clinics find themselves in dealing with the impact of COVID-19. General Direction GD0014 (version 2) requires that before resuming licensed treatment clinics must have a written COVID-19 Treatment Commencement Strategy, and that this has been assessed as robust by our inspectors.

Clinics are also required to complete the HFEA COVID-19 Treatment Commencement self-assessment tool and submit this to their inspector before commencing treatment. Clinics cannot resume treatment until they have received our approval. 

We aim to complete our approval process within five working days of receiving the completed clinic self-assessment. When each clinic receives approval to reopen, we will publish this information in the list on our website to make patients aware.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted on licensed centres in different ways. Whatever position a clinic is in, we understand that the safety of patients and staff will be their priority. GD0014 (version 2) is designed to provide clinics with a framework for enabling as many patients as possible to have safe treatment through these difficult times. It does not require clinics to resume treatment by a certain date.

Coronavirus FAQs for clinics

We have produced a new set frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers to help guide clinics during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These FAQs will be updated regularly in line with the latest government guidance and advice from the fertility sector medical and scientific experts. View the FAQs on the Clinic Portal.

New Coronavirus Storage Regulations introduced

The new The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 1 July 2020.

A Chair’s letter has been issued to introduce the Regulations, which includes a series of FAQs, and an audit tool which clinics may wish to use to document the fact that they have reviewed their patient’s records in light of the provisions set out in the Coronavirus Regulations. To understand the changes these documents should be read together, along with the new Regulations.

 

Covid-19 Global guidance

There is difference of opinion among professional bodies globally and clinics should be aware of this.

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Publication date: 6 August 2020

Review date: 6 August 2022