Homerton Hospital IVF clinic suspended following loss of frozen embryos | Fieldfisher
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Homerton Hospital IVF clinic suspended following loss of frozen embryos

Caron Heyes

Homerton Hospital's fertility clinic has had its licence to practice suspended because of unsatisfactory practices involving frozen embryos, with at least three families having to deal with the terrible news that embryos frozen following fertility treatment have been lost.

Last month, more than 100 families were similarly affected involving clinics at Guy's and Thomas and Jessop Fertility in Sheffield because the clinics were found to have used faulty freezing fluid to store embryos, which were irreparably damaged. 

For many couples, there will be no further opportunities to create new embryos and every embryo lost represents a lost opportunity to have a baby. Some couples will have undergone the treatment to preserve fertility in advance of cancer treatment that will destroy any future ability to generate eggs or sperm.

The devastation caused to couple and families should not be underestimated. HFEA, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority as part of the Department of Health and Social Care, recognises the importance of hopeful prospective parents receiving counselling if embryos are lost since they carry huge significance to their creators.

I currently act in a clinical negligence claim for a family whose embryos were destroyed without their permission. The claim involves not only the loss of the embryos and the costs of future treatment but also psychological damage, resultant childcare costs and loss of earnings caused by the need for additional treatment.

Using legal principles of bailment, we are pushing boundaries on what can be recovered for our clients. Damages cannot replace their loss, but damages can fund further treatment to put couples back in the position they would have been in but for the negligence.

Our team has successfully represented several families who suffered similar injuries and we deal with every claim with respect and sensitivity.

If you’ve been affected by the loss of an embryo, please call Caron Heyes on 03304606743 or email caron.heyes@fieldfisher.com for advice and a confidential discussion about how we may be able to assist you.

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Medical Negligence Claims