Latest News

New MFS Patients’ Guide to Services


The latest guide to services at MFS will be available from late September, either via a hard-copy full-colour, 36 page, A5 booklet from the clinic or as a downloadable PDF from the website.  With summaries of all main investigation, treatment and preservation services as well as the live birth rates for 2005-2007 and clinical pregnancy rates for 2008, it’s a pocket-sized guide to MFS and all that the unit offers.  It will be sent to current and former patients who have requested mailshot material and also to GPs and hospital consultants by 6 October, but if your copy hasn’t arrived by mid-October, please request a copy by email, indicating ‘PGTS0910 request’ in the subject box.

Lift Out of Action at Centre House

The lift to MFS at Centre House will be unavailable from 5 October 2009 until February 2010 for essential maintenance.  This is beyond the control of MFS and the unit apologises for the inconvenience it will cause to patients and visitors. During this time:

  • to access the stairs to MFS on the 3rd floor, use the door to the left of the lift in the lobby of Centre House
  • MFS regrets that no alternative arrangement will be available for wheelchair users or for people who are unable to climb approximately 50 stairs to the 3rd floor. Current patients affected by this should discuss accessibility with their MFS fertility nurse specialist
  • people planning to start treatment in the coming months for whom a lift is essential may phone the unit on 01922 455911 and speak to any member of MFS staff to discuss their circumstances

MFS looks forward to advising patients and visitors of the completion of the work and the availability of a new, improved and bigger lift which is compliant with accessibility legislation.  Thank you for your cooperation.

MFS Appointments Go Electronic

Lorraine Sears

MFS has launched the second phase of the implementation of the data management system (DMS) with the implementation of the electronic diary, which can be accessed from any PC in the clinic.  “Switching from the paper-based diary to the electronic version has already improved the appointment-making process for patients, as availability is instantly and simultaneously visible to many people,” said DMS project manager Lorraine Sears. 

“Over the coming months the laboratory diary will come on-line and soon after, the whole system will integrate with the accounts software so that all appointments are accounted for, clinically, scientifically and financially.”

When this is complete, Lorraine will oversee the transfer of patients’ notes from the current hard-copy format to electronic versions, which will be accessible from any PC terminal in the unit – and even from a different location if some catastrophe prevented MFS being able to use Centre House.  Good for the environment and good for business continuation planning!

New ‘Quick’ Sperm Analysis Service

MFS has made changes to the private sperm analysis service to enable men to attend the unit, provide a sperm sample and get the results of the analysis in a single appointment of about two hours.

“Women are increasingly encouraged to know about their fertility with ovarian reserve testing and we want to make it as simple and convenient for men to get their sperm analysed,” explained Jo Johnson, laboratory manager at MFS.

Once the man has provided a sample, MFS scientists will assess:

  • volume of the sample in millilitres
  • concentration: the number of sperms in millions per millilitre
  • motility: a grading of the percentage of the sperm that move and the speed of this movement
  • morphology: the percentage of the sperm of a normal shape
  • white blood cells: the number per millilitre
  • Ph: the alkaline/acid balance
  • anti-sperm anti-bodies: which can prevent the sperm moving properly or being able to penetrate the egg

“Sperm problems may be caused by illness, pelvic injury, an inherited genetic condition, smoking, non-prescription drugs, or even certain working environments,” said Jo. “As about 35% of fertility treatment is required because of only male factor infertility and another 30% because of both male and female infertility, any man planning on having a baby with his partner could benefit from this convenient ‘one-stop’ service.”

View more information on the private sperm analysis at MFS or contact 01922 455911 to book an appointment.


Mr Chris Griffin of MUMS and Dr Gillian Lockwood of MFS launch MUMS@MFS
Mr Chris Griffin of MUMS and Dr Gillian Lockwood of MFS launch MUMS@MFS

MFS now offers a range of ante-natal screening services via a satellite service from MUMS – Midlands Ultrasound Medical Services.

MUMS offers the very latest in nuchal and marker scanning for Down’s and other chromosomal conditions, plus 20 week anomaly and 26 week fetal well-being scans.  In addition, parents-to-be enjoy the reassurance of the latest-technology, non-invasive 4D diagnostic and screening scans, which give much clearer still and DVD images of the baby at 26-28 weeks than regular ultrasound scanning.  All these services are available at MUMS in Solihull, but MUMS@MFS brings them to MFS patients on Thursday afternoons in the familiar environment of the MFS unit.

Led by consultant obstetricians Mr Chris Griffin and Mr Mike Wyldes, the MUMS’ team of ultra-sonographers and midwives offer MFS patients the same high standards of care during their pregnancies, up to and including delivery, as they received during their fertility treatment at MFS.

To make an appointment for ante-natal scanning with MUMS@MFS, contact MUMS on 0121 704 2669.

MFS Makes the BSI Grade – Again!


MFS has successfully completed the second BSI external audit of the year, as part of the unit’s BS EN 9001:2008 standard.  Focussing specifically on the clinical care that impacts on the quality of the ‘patient journey’, and also on the administration functions such as managing customer satisfaction, the auditers concluded there were no non-conformities and that MFS offers a ‘continuing improving quality service’.  “All current and potential services at MFS are underpinned by the quality management system, to enable the unit to offer the very best possible experience to all patients and clients and also to continually strive to further improve these services,” said Anna Kavanagh, director of quality and business. “The continuing success of the internal and external audits reflects the committment of all the MFS team to give every patient a positive experience while in the care of MFS.”

The Fertility Show


The Fertility Show takes place 6 – 7 November 2009 at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre. The event, aimed at the general public, features more than 80 exhibitors plus a speaker programme of 45 talks from Britain’s top fertility experts, including Heidi Birch, director of nursing services at MFS.

Aimed at everyone concerned about their ability to conceive – from those just starting to try for a child to those already diagnosed with fertility problems – the show’s speaker programme will address some of the most common questions:

  • how fertile am I?
  • what can I do to improve the odds of conceiving?
  • am I too late to start a family?
  • how can I find out if I have a problem?
  • is egg freezing a sensible option?
  • we’ve been trying for a while – where can we get help?
  • will the NHS pay for treatment?
  • I’m considering IVF – where’s the best place to go?
  • I need an egg donor – should I go abroad?

Heidi Birch, director of nursing services at MFS, will present a seminar on ‘Fertility and Cancer – Preservation Options for Men and Women’.  Other speakers include: Sam Abdalla (medical director, Lister Fertility Centre), Yacoub Khalaf, (medical director, Guy’s & St Thomas’ ACU), Stuart Lavery (medical director, IVF Hammersmith), Lesley Regan (professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Imperial College), Robert Forman (medical director, CRM Clinic) Julian Norman-Taylor (consultant gynaecologist, Chelsea and Westminster ACU), Simon Fishel (MD of CARE) and Zita West (midwife and fertility counsellor).

Tickets to the exhibition and seminars are now available on-line.

Dr Gillian Lockwood Presents . . .

Gillian Lockwood

MFS medical director, Dr Gillian Lockwood was one of the guest speakers at the British Journal of Hospital Medicine Reproductive Medicine Conference in September, presenting the practical and ethical considerations of ‘Cryopreservation and the long-term storage of gametes and embryos’.  Her next speaking engagement will be at the HFEA Annual Conference on 1 October.

MFS Goes Dutch

MFS was featured on an extended news report on Dutch TV’s equivalent of the BBC’s early evening news, when a presenter from EénVandaag interviewed medical director Dr Gillian Lockwood about the ethics, social implications and clinical issues of elective egg freezing.  Egg freezing may soon be available in the Netherlands and debates currently rage there about ‘social engineering’ and women ‘putting their fertility on ice’ to ‘pursue careers and partying’ instead!

As MFS continues to be the only UK clinic to have achieved livebirths from egg freezing, the report brought some reality to the debate and asked Gillian about the demand for the service since MFS received the licence to freeze eggs in 2000 and also about both the potential and limitations of the service.

Growing a Fertility Forest


Infertility Network UK and the Woodland Trust have launched a joint venture to plant the UK’s first ever fertility forest. For around £25, men and women whose lives have been affected by infertility, miscarriage or involuntary childlessness can turn their experience into something positive and sustaining by planting a tree and dedicating it to the memory of their experience, a decision they have made about fertility treatment, or to celebrate the birth of an assisted conception child.