BFS statement in response to BBC’s survey on the availability of donor sperm in the UK

13 Sep 2006

The BBC has just issued a press release (Clinics in “crisis” and having “great difficulty” getting sperm donors) on the results of a survey on the availability of donor sperm in the UK. Dr Mark Hamilton, Chair of the British Fertility Society, has made the following comment.

“The British Fertility Society is well aware of the difficulties many patients throughout the country are experiencing in accessing gamete donation services, in particular donor insemination treatment.

A working party has been convened by the Society to examine the situation and will shortly be making recommendations to the Department of Health.

Provision of such services requires significant resources to attract, recruit, screen, and counsel prospective donors. The survey reinforces our own findings that many clinics are now finding it impossible to provide these services. One solution may be the development of a nationally co-ordinated donor recruitment service, managed through a number of adequately resourced recruitment centres, to meet the urgent needs of our patients, many of whom remain distressed by yet another example of postcode variation in quality and availability of infertility services throughout the country.”