We keep all details of your treatment absolutely confidential, and will tell no one without your permission. At the same time, it is a good idea for your GP (your family doctor) to know about your treatment, and it is best for you to tell him/her. You can then discuss with your doctor what sort of record you want kept in your medical notes.
Communicating information outside the Unit
In accordance with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990, we are not allowed to disclose any information regarding your treatment to anybody outside our Treatment Units without your written consent. Before your treatment commences, the doctor at your Unit will discuss this with you and you will be asked to sign a Disclosure of Information form. This will allow us to communicate information to persons who may be involved in your treatment such as your GP.
It has always been our preferred policy to keep GPs fully informed of any treatment that their patients are having with us, in line with good medical practice and as directed by the General Medical Council. We believe that this communication is important for our patients’ well-being and is useful where the GPs are collaborating with the treatment, for example giving injections. We have also always respected the right of patients to have a say in what is told to their medical practitioner and to their gynaecologist.
Information sent to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority
The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) is a government body that regulates nearly all infertility treatment in the UK.
If you have any queries about the information held by North West Fertility or the HFEA, confidentiality or communication, please do not hesitate to discuss it with your Unit staff or with the HFEA (see leaflet ‘Useful addresses’).
The HFEA keeps a confidential register of information about donors, patients and treatments. This register was set up on 1st August 1991 and contains information concerning children conceived from licensed treatments from that date onwards.
As from the year 2008, people aged 16+ (if contemplating marriage) or 18 who ask the HFEA, will be told whether or not they were born as a result of licensed assisted conception treatment, and if so, whether they are related to the person they want to marry.
By law any child born as a result of donated sperm or eggs after April 2005 has the right to contact the Authority to obtain the identity and contact details of their donor when the child reaches adulthood. Information on donors whose donations were used prior to April 2005 will not be divulged.*
*If a child were to sue the clinic for damages if that child were born with a disability as a result of a donor’s failure to disclose inherited disease, a court might require the HFEA to disclose the donor’s identity under the Congenital Disabilities (Civil liabilities) Act 1976.
If you have any further questions about confidentiality, your Unit staff will be happy to help you.