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Incubating innovation How Severnfields Health Village welcomed a new arrival for the future of fertility

In the NHS's 70th year, the health service also marked the fortieth anniversary of a pioneering procedure which changed the lives of millions of people around the world.

The first IVF baby, Louise Brown, arrived in 1978 in Oldham.

Four decades later, a fertility centre born out of that first success was itself seeking to grow.

15 years since delivering its first treatment at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), the Shropshire and Mid-Wales Fertility Centre was desperate for more space. The original facility centre was designed for 100 IVF cycles a year; with the demand for IVF increasing, their annual treatment numbers had reached 650. Before the centre's existence, patients were having to travel to Coventry to access IVF.

"We have outgrown our facility here, technology has changed too, and we are also doing more varied treatments, for example with oncology patients. Treatment have grown and space here is now at a premium" Jason Kasraie, consultant clinical embryologist and andrologist, and head of fertility services

A move into the Severn Fields Health Village in Shrewsbury provided the solution: fit-for-purpose space under the same roof as primary care and mental health services, offering the team new laboratory, treatment and recovery areas as well as expanded administration, consultation and staff areas.

Crucially, the new space also gives the centre the facilities to offer new treatment including ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination), egg donation and storage.

"I have to pinch myself every morning walking into this place because we finally have, in Shrewsbury, a department which is worthy of the patients we treat- in terms of giving them the highest quality care, in the best facilities that we can possibly supply... we have some of the highest quality facilities in the country for delivering IVF." Jason Kasraie, marking the official opening of the new facilities in November 2018
The team did an amazing job within their own building but I'm so happy that they've moved and got a space which is suitable for everyone. The new surroundings are lovely and bright. The staff at the clinic have always been amazing. And even though they're in a new building, one thing will never change: they have smiles on their faces and are always on hand to give you a hug if you need it.

Follow fertility blogger Katy #kpivfjourney on Instagram