We talk with Mike Savvas, the Clinical Lead at King’s Hewitt Ferility, a UK based fertility centre.
When was the King’s Hewitt Fertility Centre founded?
The Centre was established in 2015 in partnership with the Hewitt Fertility Centre, Liverpool. Before this it was known as the King’s College Hospital Assisted Conception Unit. Launched in 1983 we were one of the first IVF clinics in the country and many techniques which are standard throughout the world were pioneered at King’s.
What’s different about the service provided by King’s Hewitt Fertility Centre?
We offer straightforward treatment packages with no hidden charges for important “extras”. We are the only fertility centre in London that offers IVF using time-lapse photography and EmbryoGlue at no extra cost. We can do this because we use EmbryoScope – an advanced incubator with a computer and camera attached. EmbryoScope stores embryos in optimum conditions and takes a photo of then every 15 minutes. These photos give our embryologists a wealth of information they can use to select the best embryo to return to the womb, which improves pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriages.
What services do you offer lesbians, both as individuals and as couples?
As one of the first fertility centres in the UK, we have a long tradition of treating people from the LGBT community. We offer a full fertility assessment and donor sperm treatment to women in same-sex relationships and to single women. We can also help you find a sperm donor if needed.
Do you offer counselling services?
Yes, our highly qualified counsellor has years of experience advising people who are having fertility treatment. She guides people through their treatment and advises on the law about use of donor sperm and eggs.
What are your success rates?
Our success rates are amongst the best in the country thanks to the investment we have made since becoming the King’s Hewitt Fertility Centre and we expect them to continue to improve. For example, our most recent overall pregnancy rate for women under 35 years old is 41% – the national average is 33.7%. For women aged 35-7, our overall pregnancy rate is 32%, while the national rate is 29.8%. *
What distinguishes you from other fertility centres in the UK?
It’s partly our long history and our proud tradition of treating everyone, including people who’ve had unsuccessful treatment elsewhere. The fact that everyone we treat has their embryos developed in one of our embryoscopes at no extra cost is also different to most fertility centres.
What future plans do you have for the King’s Hewitt Fertility Centre?
In early 2016 we are moving our consultation suite to the state-of-the-art Fetal Medicine Institute, Camberwell, which is less than five minutes’ walk from King’s College Hospital and all our patients will benefit from its outstanding facilities. We will continue using the latest evidence-based technology and treatments to ensure we give people the best chance of a successful pregnancy.
What achievement are you most proud of?
As clinical lead I was proud to help secure the investment we needed to transform into King’s Hewitt Fertility Centre, one of the leading fertility centres in the UK. This has allowed us to provide the best testing and treatment environment for fertility patients in London, and to achieve excellent success rates, which make us very proud.