Assisted Conception Unit (ACU)

Guy’s and St Thomas’ ACU Visiting Professional Programme offers international clinicians exclusive insight and hands-on experience of a leading assisted conception unit which has a reputation for excellence in both NHS and private infertility treatment.

Programme aims

The programme is aimed at those who wish to upgrade their knowledge and gain insight into Fertility and Assisted Conception practises used within Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

The aims of the programme include:

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to visitors upon the end of their programme.


Format

The ACU programme is delivered within the hospital work place and it includes exposure to clinics, inpatient ward rounds, multidisciplinary team meetings, depending on the length of programme that visitors request.

Visiting professionals will be aligned with supervisors from within the clinical teams who will facilitate agreed learning and development needs. We would expect visiting professionals to be totally integrated in the day to day service within our ACU team.

We will also provide visitors with the opportunity to get involved in research and improvement projects.


Who can apply

This programme is intended for non-U.K. registrars and consultants who specialise in assisted conception.

Visitors have the choice of applying for a hands-on attachment or observership programme. Those wishing to apply for a hands-on attachment must have GMC registration and NMC registration. You can apply for GMC registration directly through the main GMC website, alternatively The Royal College of Physicians run a medical training initiative which facilitates GMC registration and provides sponsorship for a Tier 5 visa. You can find out more about their Medical Training Initiative by visiting their website. NMC registration can be applied for via NMC website.


Programme duration

It is recommended that in order to get the most out of the ACU programme, that visiting professionals undertake a placement of at least six weeks. However, the programme’s duration can be tailored to the specific learning requirements of those visiting the Trust.


ACU service

Established in 1991, the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ has developed a reputation for excellence in both NHS and private infertility treatment. We are one of the leading innovators in the field of fertility and a trusted choice for people trying to conceive.

The unit is located on the 11th floor at Guy’s Hospital and has recently been refurbished with state-of-the-art facilities. We have dedicated labs, theatres, and procedure rooms, all designed to be a contemporary and calming space.

Featured on the BBC and other television channels, our fertility treatments and services are led by world renowned clinicians.

Patients are treated by a team of experts who are constantly researching and innovating the field of fertility and in particular IVF. The techniques that we have developed have been implemented by clinics around the country. At the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ patients will be able to access treatments by the people who developed them.

We are also the largest and most successful clinic in the UK for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and are licensed to carry out stem cell research.

We are proud to say that our commitment to pioneering research and the expertise of our clinicians has given us good success rates, helping to increase the chances of conception.

At the Assisted Conception Unit, every patient is treated as an individual. We understand that works for one patient may not be successful for another. So when it comes to treatment and care we don’t make any assumptions whether that is for IVF or a more complex condition.

We pride ourselves on the comprehensive services we offer – everything from initial investigations through to specialised procedures.

Patients are given all the advice and support they need every step of the way, together with professional counselling services to help you cope with the emotions involved in fertility treatment.

At the Assisted Conception Unit we have a dedicated and experienced team, state-of-the-art facilities and a track record in supporting our patients through their treatment.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is available to couples that are at risk of having a child with a specific genetic or chromosome disorder, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease or Huntington’s disease.

The aim is to obtain and fertilise a number of eggs. The fertilised embryos develop for three days and then one or two cells are removed from each embryo. The genetic material (DNA and chromosomes) from the cells are tested for the known disorder in the family. Up to two unaffected embryos are then transferred into the uterus. If the pregnancy is successful, the baby should not be affected by the disorder it was tested for.

The centre for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis works closely with the genetics department and is the largest and most successful centre in the UK for PGD, with over 600 babies born as a result of this treatment.

Clinics


Example Timetable

Week 1

Monday morning

  • Egg Collection

Monday afternoon

  • New patient clinic 

Tuesday morning

  • Follow up

Tuesday afternoon

  • Theatre (St Thomas Hospital)

Wednesday morning

  • HSG

Wednesday afternoon

  • Reproductive Medicine Clinic Post clinic meeting

Thursday morning

  • Morning MDM PGD (Meeting)

Thursday afternoon

  • Embryology Lab Teaching and case discussion

Friday morning

  • Scanning with nurses

Friday afternoon

  • Pregnancy scan

Fees

A course fee per week will be applied; this fee excludes accommodation and travelling expenses. To find out the fee amount please email [email protected].


Please note

Clinicians are able to offer bursaries or discounted placements on an individual basis. This is at the discretion of the Directorates of GSTT and does not affect the terms and conditions of the Visiting Professional Programme agreements.

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Visiting Professional Programme attendee

I attended during the pandemic, the department remained open. I was able to engage in numerous cases. I have learnt so much and cannot wait to share this experience with my peers back home

Doctor from Kuwait