“We have great sympathy for the two couples involved in this incident
at IVF Wales. This event shows just how important and central fertility treatment
is to peoples lives.
HFEA takes incidents very seriously. There is a robust procedure in place
for reporting and, where appropriate, investigating incidents. IVF Wales informed
us of the incident on 5 December 2007 and an inspection was carried out two
days later. The clinic has acted on the recommendations made. A scheduled
inspection which took place in March 2008 examined the measures the clinics
had put in place and an HFEA licence committee concluded that the clinics
licence should continue with no additional conditions.
Our Code of Practice makes it clear that clinics must have witnessing
protocols in place to double check the identification of sperm, eggs and embryos
and the patients or donors to whom they belong.
IVF Wales has taken this incident very seriously and, for our part, they
have responded constructively to the recommendations made.
Out of more than 50,000 cycles of treatment, 0.5 per cent resulted in
an incident. Very few of these incidents are as serious as the one at IVF
Wales. It is impossible to eliminate human error. We strongly encourage clinics
to report all incidents and near misses, so that we can help them learn from
their mistakes and to spread best practice across the sector.”