Party for little miracles at Hartlepool hospital

PARTY TIME: Staff from the reproduction unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool
PARTY TIME: Staff from the reproduction unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool

MUMS, dads and their little miracles have been invited to an extra special Christmas party.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool will be the venue for the festive get-together which celebrates the success of the hospital’s assisted reproduction unit.

The unit is the place where couples who have problems conceiving get specialist help to become parents.

The unit, run by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, has helped hundreds of couples to become mums and dads in the five years since it was opened.

Its success will be celebrated with a party tomorrow and all it needs now is for mums and dads to bring their little miracles, who were created thanks to a helping hand from the unit, to come along and join in the fun.

The unit’s principal embryologist Dave Gibbon said: “Christmas is such a special time and we are delighted to be celebrating with so many families at our annual event.

“We know that all babies are precious but, for people who have had problems conceiving, the arrival of their baby is a very special event.”

Clinical lead for the assisted reproduction unit, Hany Mostafa, said: “This event is the best day of the year for us. It’s great to be able to celebrate with the parents and their families, but also for us to stay in touch with everyone to make sure they are supported once they’ve had their babies. Last year we invested £40,000 in the latest hi-tech equipment so that couples get the best chance of becoming parents. We have an incubator which can store embryos for up to five days at low oxygen levels, which increases the chance of couples conceiving.

“We are also using an intracytoplastic sperm injection (ICSI) machine which allows experts here to inject sperm into an egg under a microscope. It’s a very modern piece of equipment which allows us to be very precise and increase the success rate of that procedure, which is very good news for our patients. We are using the most up to date fertility techniques here and we are seeing good results.”

The Hartlepool Mail was first to report, in 2008, that the £750,000 unit was opening in Hartlepool.

Mr Gibbon said at the time that the aim was to rank in the top ten facilities in the country. Find out more about the unit at www.nth.nhs/aru.