Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton IVF clinic licence turned down

St Jude's clinic
Image caption St Jude's has held a licence from the HFEA since 2002

An IVF clinic has had its licence refused after claims staff got consent to collect a woman's eggs while she was still under the effects of sedation.

Jude Adeghe officially holds the IVF licence at St Jude's Women's Hospital, in Wolverhampton.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said obtaining written consent while donors were under effects of anaesthetic was "wholly wrong".

Mr Adeghe said it was an "isolated incident" and verbal consent was given.

He is allowed to continue treating patients until an appeal is heard.

Mr Adeghe started the fertility clinic in 2001 and has held an HFEA licence there since 2002.

The regulator became aware of an anonymous complaint against him received by the General Medical Council (GMC) in relation to the incident.

'Wholly wrong'

In November, the HFEA, which is responsible for licensing IVF practitioners, heard eggs were collected from a woman on 20 August 2010, during fertility treatment.

Image caption Jude Adeghe described it as an "isolated incident"

The HFEA committee said it believed the forms for egg donation were filled in before she was discharged, one hour and 35 minutes after the procedure.

In its report, the regulator said guidance for patients given Midazolam, the sedative used in this case, stated they should "not drive a car, operate machinery, or sign legal documents for 24 hours."

It was unlikely she filled in the paperwork herself, but simply signed it, the watchdog concluded.

"To ask for written consent of a patient still under the effect of sedation is in our view wholly wrong," it said.

The committee added that it did "not think" Mr Adeghe had been "truthful" in his evidence and that the incident was probably "not a one-off", a claim he disputes.

Responsible person

He said since the last hearing he had commissioned an independent review which confirmed the incident was isolated.

"How can I be an unreliable witness? I have been an HFEA responsible person for 15 years and in that time this is the first incident," he said.

Mr Adeghe said he was confident the clinic's licence would be renewed and he was investing £100,000 in improving facilities.

The HFEA had proposed to refuse a licence for Mr Adeghe over the incident in May 2014 and its meeting in November followed an appeal by him.

A second appeal, in front of an independent panel, is expected to be heard in March. If that fails, Mr Adeghe could still choose to take his case to the High Court.

Image caption St Jude's was inspected in June 2013 as part of a licence renewal by Mr Adeghe

In a statement, the HFEA said it identified "serious concerns" during its inspection at St Jude's and it decided the clinic's current licence should not be renewed.

"The clinic made representations against that decision which was upheld," it said.

"The clinic has now sought to have the case heard by the independent appeal committee. The clinic can continue to treat patients until the appeal process is complete."

Mr Adeghe is also subject to GMC restrictions while it completes its fitness to practice investigation.

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