Making dreams come true for ten years

Dreams of having a baby have come true for thousands of families thanks to the Assisted Conception Unit in NHS Tayside.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 11:14am
Making dreams come true for ten years
The ACU has a team of multidisciplinary staff

The Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) based at ward 35 in Ninewells Hospital is celebrating its 10-year anniversary since the newly-refurbished centre opened its doors in 2011.

Since then, more than 2,200 babies have been born with help from the clinical teams at the ACU.

One of them is Harrison Brownlee, who was born in 2018 after his parents Laura and Michael were supported at the ACU. Harrison will celebrate his third birthday this month and has recently become a proud big brother to baby Avery.

Laura said they will be “forever grateful” to the ACU team for helping them start their family.

Laura said, “We had a truly wonderful experience with the ACU in Dundee. I had a fairly complicated condition that was causing various problems, including fertility difficulties.

“Every single person in the ACU made us feel like we were a priority and treated us with so much kindness. We could not single out any individual to thank because they were all fantastic.

“We will be forever grateful to this team of miracle workers for helping us start our family. We are so lucky that we had this, in our opinion, world class facility right on our doorstep.”

The current ACU was opened in 2011 following an extensive refurbishment of the clinic area to provide a theatre, procedure room, enhanced patient waiting areas, consulting and scanning rooms and three laboratories, including the main embryology laboratory.

The ACU now has a team of multidisciplinary staff including clinical, laboratory, nursing, administrative and counselling staff and also manages the andrology service for Tayside.

Lead Clinical Embryologist, Ellen Drew said, “I feel very privileged to work in the ACU. We have an excellent facility with great equipment but the most important thing in the ACU is our multidisciplinary team.

“Assisted reproduction cycles in the UK have always been a team effort and we have doctors, nurses, an admin team, a lab team and a counsellor all working together in Tayside to help families. I genuinely think our team is fantastic, dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic.

“I think we have the best job in the world. We help to make babies, and I am so glad to be part of it. I wouldn’t want to do anything else!”

Consultant Dr Sarah Martins da Silva said, “This is a wonderful landmark to celebrate although of course IVF treatment has been carried out at Ninewells hospital for much longer than just the last 10 years. The refurbished ward and clinic facilities are clean and modern, and the laboratory remains state-of-the-art.

“Infertility treatment can be a difficult and challenging journey. We are proud to have touched the lives and made a difference for so many people and families in Tayside and beyond.”

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