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Fertility Network UK
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2nd time round IVF...

after a successful FET in 2016 and arrival of our gorgeous little boy in 2017, we have decided to try for a second baby. We had unexplained infertility so are trying naturally but i am 37 in feb so we are also looking into using our 1 remaining frostie! I spoke to our clinic and even though it would be private funded, they said i need a gp referral again!? Just wondering if this is normal? the clinic said current waiting times for an appointment is feb but my GP appointment isn't till the start of December as it's non urgent! I feel like it's going to be a long wait and time isn't on my side. Of course, I'm hoping it won't come to that, but feel better with a back up plan.

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Sounds very odd to me. Perhaps it’s just standard practice at that particular clinic. Could you ring your gp surgery and just request a phone call from a doctor? You may be able to get things moving along quicker that way xx

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yes, I'm going to do that, but the dr i need to see (the one who referred me last time) is on leave for 3 weeks! Typical... Surely they don't need to see me? hoping they can just send a letter. Everything takes so long in this process, even when privately funded!! So frustrating when time is not your friend! Xx

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Hopefully someone else could do you a referral. Any gp at my surgery would xx

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they probably would, i was just thinking that it might mean me not having to make an appointment if it was the dr who knows me etc... Will ring and see what they say. Xx

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Hi I had my ivf in 2016 too and I got my little 17 Months old baby girl. I’m 38 and we have 1 remaining frostie too. We r private patient too and I spoke with my clinic 2day to book consultation appointment with doctor what to do ....to use the frozen one or to do fresh cycle ? They never said that I need referrals from my GP only email them up to date tsh and prolactin test . That bit strange why u need to go through your GP if u paying for it ? Xx

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they didn't mention getting any tests done, literally just a referral letter! I will ring again Monday and ask what they specifically need and why... Xx

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My last cycle was on NHS and from that we got one frostie but now we r private patients. U need to call them give them your patients number and just explain them that u r private now . My clinic want only TSH and prolactin test. We got appointment to see the doctor booked on 9 nov and we gonna decided to use frostie or go through fresh cycle. Xx

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I agree, it seems quite odd. Hopefully you get to speak with someone soon and get going sooner xx

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If your private funding you do not need gp referral, was your cycle before funded by the NHS? That may be where the confusion comes from. If you're having a private cycle, you don't need to involve the NHS GP.

You can do what you want with the embryo - it has no 'rights' , its your property. You could order them to be destroyed, transported to a different clinic, its completely up to you.

Just ring them and ask what your GP has got to do with anything. If they are messing you around, you can always just transport them to the clinic of your choice.

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my first cycle was NHS funded yes, but i didn't tell them that, she didn't even ask my name or details! I just said i have frozen embryos stored with yourselves and want to make an appointment to discuss using them and she said i needed a gp referral... Xx

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I just re-read your post, are you saying the private clinic can't see you till Feb??? Is this a self funded cycle through a NHS clinic ? Our experience with private only clinics in London are- if you phone in November, they give you an appointment in November with treatment as soon as you want and medically possible.

Our first cycle was with the NHS, and our second one was self funded with them, we then switched to a new private clinic for our 3rd, and it was like chalk and cheese, completely flexible, fast appointments and much better care and especially after care, harsh but true but our local NHS IVF unit isn't fit for purpose. As we only have 1 funded cycle in our area, the whole set up is a joke.

We had to get all our notes transferred to the new clinic and transfer frozen samples that the NHS clinic was holding for us, it all took about a week or 2, still much quicker if we had kept going with the NHS clinic self funding as things moved so slowly with them.

I'd be tempted to look around for a new clinic, your under 37, you've had a successful cycle so another clinic has every chance of getting you a BFP. It would be simply signing a form and getting a medical courier to take the embies to anywhere in the UK.

I appreciate if your comfortable with the clinic and don't want to move, but its worrying if they can't even book you in till Feb, that's too long if you're paying with your own money. Also its always worth shopping around as clinics charge didn't rates and the one you have your frozen embies with may not be as good value as somewhere else.

The cost to transport was less than 200 pounds I think.

Best of luck

x

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it's private treatment at a nhs hospital... I'll see what they say when i call back. There is another private clinic closer to me i could transfer to so will bear that in mind and also mention when i call. The cost May be significantly more though, a FET at this hospital is £1100. Relatively cheap compared to others. Thank you for your advice. Xxx

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I had a feeling it was a NHS hospital, like our first 2, they have a lot of red tape, so its probably there 'procedure' to do everything through GP.

I'm sorry you have to go through this. One thing I would say is you have excellent chances of this going well, so hold onto that, that soon your little one will have a brother or sister!

Its just a pain they are so bureaucratic!!

Best of luck for the upcoming FET, when you have the new baby in your arms, it would have all been worth it!!

xxx

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My hospital told me I needed GP referral. One reason was that I needed all my bloods repeating and that can be done on NHS via GP. I went to see my GP’s nurse practitioner and she was able to do the referral for me (she actually did my first one too). The appointment was much faster than waiting for a GP appointment so definitely with seeing if that’s an option for you. Good luck with your second round!

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no mention of bloods, just a referral letter!! I don't think my practice has a nurse practitioner. Xx

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I think the person you spoke to didn’t realise you had already had a live birth and were looking for a private round. I would ring again and explain the situation clearly to see if they still think you need a gp letter.

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I can’t think of any reason why your private clinic needs a GP referral and I’m an NHS GP! I only write private referral letters so that people can claim via their insurance. This is a private transaction between you and the clinic. You may need new blood tests but it’s up to your GP’s discretion whether they arrange these on the NHS as they are medico-legally responsible for the results (generally if they are simple tests, most GPs will do them eg HIV, hepatitis).

I would push back on your clinic and ask them why they need a referral- especially if you want to get started. Good luck!

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that's very useful thank you! I might call back and say I've spoken to 'a GP' (technically i have!) and say they don't know why a referral letter is required. Hopefully i will get a different receptionist! Interestingly, first time round my GP arranged a HSG and all the blood tests and the fertility clinic repeated them anyway!! (bar the HSG) xx

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Go for it! Good luck x

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That is strange to say you need a GP referral.

Neither my OH or I have been to the GP and have self referred ourselves for private treatment. He’s had a surgical sperm retrieval and I’m about to start IUI. We’ve been to 3 clinics now for different things and no one has even questioned it.

They want our money and so have been more than happy to take us x

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I was wondering when you were going for number 2. Hope it all works out.

The referral seems weird. The clinic already know you so it doesn’t make any sense especially for a private round.

X

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hoping it happens naturally but 37 in feb so want the back up ready! Hope your pregnancy is going well and you've started to relax a little. Please try because once they are here, you'll never relax again!! 😂 xxx

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I've got my anatomy scan on Thursday so hopefully after that I'll be all zen like and Earth mother about things.

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so i spoke to the clinic again, and because it's been 12 months since we last had treatment, we do need another GP referral! It's because it's self funded NHS treatment... Annoyingly we have to be seen in gynae outpatients before we even get referred to the fertility centre!! What a waste of time, GP, outpatients and ours! I am waiting on a call from GP to see if they can do the referral without seeing us to save time 🤞 we have researched private clinics but the price difference is staggering! And also it would take time to transfer our care anyway so seems counterproductive. Looking at a 4 week wait for an appointment when the GP has done their referral. At least it gives us a bit more time to try naturally! Xxx

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update... GP just rang, my referral letter is ready for collection!! Maybe it won't take so long after all...

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Like the others have said, from my own experience no GP referral needed when self funding. I hope you can get something sorted quickly. I know how frustrating it is having to wait xx

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