Photo gallery: Joy as new Norfolk IVF clinic is officially opened
- Credit: Archant
Officials hailed the opening of a 'world class' IVF clinic in Norfolk, which is set to treat up to 500 women a year.
The reception of the new Bourn Hall branch became a mini creche as families and couples who had received successful IVF treatments gathered to celebrate a landmark day for fertility treatment in Norfolk.
Up until this year, couples desperately trying for a baby have not been able to get full fertility treatment in the county.
The new facility on the Gateway 11 business park in Wymondham will stop the long car journeys to Cambridge or London for Norfolk couples unable to conceive a baby naturally.
Managers of the new clinic yesterday revealed that three positive pregnancies had already been confirmed after the Norfolk Bourn Hall branch opened to its first patients earlier this year.
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The clinic, which has the facilities and know-how to remove and fertilise eggs in their state-of-the-art laboratories, has the capacity to treat up to 500 patients a year.
And officials hope the first IVF babies conceived at the new Norfolk facility will be born at the end of the year.
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Hamed Al-Taher, lead clinician at the new Bourn Hall clinic, said by working with hospitals across the region, the new clinic will ensure that Norfolk has a 'world class fertility service'.
'It was always the dream of Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards after their success with Louise Brown that IVF treatment would be made available to all that needed it. By opening the first full-service IVF clinic in Norfolk, we are continuing their remarkable legacy and patients from across the region can benefit from over three decades of experience.'
'We are trying to make treatment more convenient for Norfolk patients and the location has been chosen as it has good access to the A11.'
Officials from Bourn Hall say that 44pc of NHS funded patients get pregnant with the first cycle of IVF and 78pc of patients achieve a successful outcome after three cycles.
Bowthorpe couple Carey and Mark Barber said they were proud to be part of one big Bourn Hall family following the birth of their son Oliver 16 months ago. Mrs Barber, 28, said she felt lucky after becoming pregnant after the first cycle of IVF treatment at the company's clinic, near Cambridge. The couple, who have been together for 13 years, have two frozen embryos stored at Bourn Hall and are keen to pay for a second course of treatment.