Party time for parents

A CHRISTMAS party with a heartwarming difference is on the way at a Hartlepool hospital – to celebrate the precious children whose arrival in the world is all thanks to health experts.

The assisted reproduction unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool is celebrating its successes with a party at the start of next month.

Parents, staff and their precious children born using assisted conception will get together on Saturday, December 1.

Principal embryologist Dave Gibbon said: “Christmas is such a special time and we are delighted to have so many families who will be celebrating with us thanks to the skills of the team in the unit.

“The staff are so passionate about raising funds to support the work of the unit and we are really grateful for everyone’s generosity to make this celebration happen.

“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 unit Hany Mostafa said: “We are using fertility techniques here in Hartlepool which rival any London clinic. For example we now use a technique where we culture the cells to a more advanced stage before implanting the embryo in the womb. The technique mimics what would happen in nature and we’re seeing good results.”

The £750,000 unit first opened in 2008 with three clinical staff, two embryology staff with more than 30 years experience, a fertility consultant, two fertility sisters, a laboratory witness (to oversee the insemination techniques used in IVF), and a unit secretary and administrator as well as more people on the way. By 2010, the unit was reaching levels of successful pregnancies which were higher than the national average.