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Nuffield Health babies return to the nest for fertility unit's 30th birthday

The legacy of a leading Scottish fertility clinic was celebrated today when over 100 babies conceived at Nuffield Health Hospital Glasgow met for the first time at a party to mark the unit’s 30th anniversary.

The fertility unit’s special birthday party was held at the hospital’s grounds on Beaconsfield Road in Glasgow and reunited generations of children with the staff who helped to create them, including the first and newest babies.

Since it was launched in 1985, around 6,000 babies have been conceived through Nuffield Health Hospital Glasgow’s Fertility Service with some would-be parents traveling from all over the UK and as far afield as Hong Kong, France and Cyprus for treatment. Today, the unit continues to help those who want to start a family through a wide range of fertility treatments and, last year, the hospital’s not-for-profit status supported investment in a new state-of-the-art Embryoscope time-lapse incubator that has already been used in treatment that has led to births.  

Twelve-day old Devon Lawson was conceived using the new Embryoscope and is the latest baby to be born after East Kilbride-based parents, Fiona and David, received Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment at the Nuffield Health Hospital. The new parents and their daughter were reunited with the staff at the party, including the embryologist, Ashley Hyde, who helped them to conceive the baby.

Fiona said: “We really appreciated everything the team at the Nuffield Health Hospital did for us and wanted to come along today to thank them personally and introduce them to Devon, who is the amazing and beautiful result of everything we’ve been working to achieve over the last few years. The care and support we received at the Nuffield Health Hospital throughout our treatment was fabulous and everything was explained thoroughly to us at every stage of the process, which was so important to us.”

Hamish and Joyce Marshall were the first couple to have a baby through fertility treatment (IVF) at the Nuffield Health Hospital 29 years ago with the birth of their daughter, Louise.

Hamish said: “Joyce and I really owe so much to the Nuffield Health team for the change to our lives which followed on from Louise’s birth and would encourage anyone who finds themselves in the position that we were in over 30 years ago to explore the options of IVF treatment. I still remember vividly how sensitively the Nuffield Health team supported us. Of course, it’s all very well for me to sing their praises given the outcome in our case, but I have been so impressed and also humbled on a number of occasions when I have met people who have undergone IVF treatment without a successful outcome yet they have still spoken so highly of the Nuffield Health team. I look forward to hearing of their continued success in addressing the problems of infertility and enhancing the lives of many other couples in the same way as they have for Joyce and myself.”

Partick Thistle F.C. and Fire Services Scotland were amongst the local organisations who helped the hospital put on fun family games and activities at the party including ‘Beat the Goalie’, face painting, a treasure hunt, kids’ Zumba and a cake stall. To help mark the occasion a special timeline mural was created using pictures taken of all the Nuffield Health babies who attended.

Nuffield Health Glasgow Hospital Director, Ken Hay, said: “Patient care is really important to our staff so we wanted to celebrate 30 years of the fertility unit with the children we’ve helped to create, the families we’ve supported over the years and those we are caring for today, to make the day a truly joyful and happy occasion. The unit’s continued to respond to the big changes in fertility treatment since it opened in 1985 and we’re delighted with its growth, our success rates and the variety of help available from our dedicated team of experts.”

Here are some more facts about the fertility services at the Hospital:

  • Nuffield Health Glasgow’s fertility unit was set up in 1985, seven years after the birth of the world’s first baby to have been born after conception by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)  - Louise Brown
  • Today, the fertility unit offers 16 different types of male and female fertility treatments including egg and sperm donation
  • 99 babies have been born from the Unit’s donor bank, launched in 2006
  • This month marks the first baby to be born using the hospital’s new state-of-the-art Embryoscope, installed last year
  • The unit has the capacity to store 3,000 eggs or embryos and 2,400 sperm samples
  • Thanks to sperm storage, some dads haven’t even been in the country when their babies are conceived at Nuffield Health’s fertility unit, working in jobs like the armed forces or off-shore

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